Arunachal Pradesh, which is hosting the second edition of the ‘Songs and Dances of the North East’ festival in the city, is eyeing 20 per cent rise in tourist arrival in the state in the current financial year.
“Despite physical, social as well as psychological distance, there has been a steady growth of tourists in the state. In 2015-16, we received 3.45 lakh tourists, including domestic as well as foreign. Of this, 3.4 lakh were from the country itself,” Arunachal Pradesh Tourism Secretary Joram Bedaa told PTI here.
“Looking at the trend and our current marketing efforts we are expecting a 20 per cent rise in numbers in the state in this financial year,” he added.
The first edition of the annual ‘Songs and Dances of the North East’ festival was held in Delhi, organised by Meghalaya.
Bedda said Arunachal Pradesh is targeting premium audience so that the ecology and the natural beauty of the state is not disturbed.
Known as the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’, the state is located in the northeast and borders Assam and Nagaland in the south, and shares international borders with Bhutan in the west, Myanmar in the east and China in the north.
Covered by the Himalayas, the state is being promoted as an ‘adventure destination’ as it has rivers, mountains and forests and will soon get its own airport in Tezu, he said.
“We are well connected through road and air to Assam. We also have regular helicopter services connecting us to our neighbouring state. Besides, we also connected with Delhi with a superfast train,” Bedda said, adding that there are plans of introducing a Rajdhani train connecting Itanagar and the national capital.
The state is also bullish on Bollywood projects to promote tourism and has regular meetings with the industry to shoot projects in the state.
On 2nd ‘Songs and Dances of the North East’ festival, he said, it is conceptualised and designed to bind together the diverse culture and heritage of the North East on a common platform and connect it with rest of India.
The festival’s theme this year is ‘Come, Experience the North East’ and is sponsored by North Eastern Council (NEC).
He said the festival will showcase ethnic delicacies, music and dance, from all eight North Eastern states — Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Nagaland and Manipur.