To give a facelift to the State’s hospitality business, the Meghalaya government has embarked on an initiative giving thrust to improving road and air connectivity in the State.
The Meghalaya Tourism Revolution will connect the various tourist destinations in the State.
With this new initiative, the State government is confident that there would be a sea change in State tourism, Chief Minister D.D. Lapang told reporters after the first meeting of the recently formed Task Force on Tourism Development (TFTD) here on Monday.
Mr. Lapang said there was a proposal for direct Air India flights between Kolkata, Shillong and Tura. Air India chief Arvind Jadhav, after a meeting with Mr. Lapang in Delhi recently, said the national career was considering operating regular flights from Kolkata to Shillong and Tura or vice-versa.
Mr. Lapang said the government was planning to make Umroi on the outskirts of Shillong — one of the major tourist destinations by upgrading the airport there.
The government has already put forward a proposal to the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation for setting up of an aviation training academy in the State for which the government would allot 12 acres of land, he added.
The Meghalaya government will set up 'Welcome Centres' at Khanapara on the Assam border, the entry points to Garo hills and Dawki along the Bangladesh border. Tourism offices would also be set up in important cities like Delhi and Kolkata, Mr. Lapang said.
“We have also adopted a resolution to develop the Shillong Golf Course and transform it into one of the best golf courses in the country. We will find out other places in the State where artificial golf courses can be created,” he said.
While admitting that despite many efforts in the past, development of the State tourism sector was yet to be satisfactory, the Chief Minister said the government would improve the existing State tourism policy.
The term of reference of the TFTD is to prepare a 10-year perspective plan for Tourism Infrastructure Development, to suggest measures to facilitate investment in tourism projects and also to monitor implementation of projects.
Activation of the interactive website of Tourism Department, building of a state-of-the-art Inter-State Bus Terminal in Shillong, and holding of festivals in line with the wine festival besides the regular festivals that the State observes were also on the anvil.