26th Mar 2018 11:03:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

The Union Home Ministry may soon relax the protected area permit (PAP) regime to enable foreign tourists to access border areas. The permit is being relaxed by the Centre following several requests by Arunachal Pradesh among other states including the Tourism Ministry. Till now, foreign tourists had always required a special permit from the home ministry to visit places identified as protected areas in several states including Arunachal.

Despite boasting of pristine, unspoilt nature and vibrant indigenous culture, the region has remained out of many a tourists itinerary due to obvious reasons. The infuriating travel permits and the lack of any truly iconic ‘must-see’ attraction and the somewhat exaggerated safety worries deter most travellers from visiting the northeast. While insurgency is limited to a small portion, for the world at large the thought of NE India is enough to bring up images of violence and unrest. Shrugging this image has been and still is one of the biggest challenges this otherwise beautiful region has been struggling with.

To raise tourist inflow and make the state more visitor friendly, the previous Arunachal Pradesh Government had announced that it is working to simplify the procedure for application and issuance of the Inner Line Permit and is also mulling over issuing ILP on arrival as is the case with Mizoram. Needless to say, this move will infuse the much needed “life” to the tourism sector in the state.

India’s tourism sector got a major boost in 2017 with the number of foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) crossing the 10 million mark. This leap in tourism even pushed the country’s earnings to over 27 billion dollars. The sector is contributing 6.88 percent to India’s GDP and had a 12 percent share of jobs in 2017. But one can easily guess that the northeast of India or rather Arunachal did not reap the benefits.

While the state is projecting itself in a big way on the tourism map, entry permit complexities pose a major deterrent to tourists keen on visiting the state. Albeit late, this decision will give the much needed fillip to the tourism sector.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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