NE FESTIVAL IN BANGKOK | Mein seeks Tai tourist circuit in NE

BANGKOK, Jul 30: Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein on Saturday proposed creating a Tai tourist circuit in the Northeast considering the religious and cultural similarities between Arunachal Pradesh and Thailand.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the second edition of the North East India Festival here in Thailand, Mein said apart from the Buddhist circuit, a tourist circuit could be created in the region to attract Buddhist devotees and Tai tourists from the South East Asian Countries including Thailand.

He said that apart from investment in tourism and industry, Arunachal Pradesh has a huge scope for investment in agriculture technology, agro-food processing industries and hydropower sectors because of the large-scale production of good quality agriculture products like Ginger, Turmeric, Large Cardamom, Oranges and Kiwi and its capacity to generate more than 50,000 megawatts of hydropower, an official communiqué informed.

“The state government is committed to making Arunachal Pradesh an ideal investment destination and is ready to provide single window clearance and necessary approvals in a time-bound manner to investors,” Mein said.

He added that improved road communication due to fast developing highways and air connectivity in prominent places across the state in recent years have made the major tourist places like Pasighat, Tezu, Ziro, Aalo, Tawang and Mechukha easily accessible to tourists”.

Highlighting the huge tourism potential and investment opportunities in the state, the deputy chief minister said that Arunachal Pradesh has lots to offer to tourists in terms of adventure tourism, wildlife tourism, spiritual tourism, ecological tourism, cultural & rural tourism and leisure tourism because of its fastest free-flowing rivers and high terrains, rich biodiversity, dense forests with unique flora & fauna, diverse cultures and scenic beauties.

He added said that the 26 major tribes and over 100 sub-tribes of the state with their own distinct cultures and traditions celebrate a number of festivals throughout the year making it a land of festivals and colourful dances where one can experience different kinds of tribal cultures and taste different local cuisines.

Speaking on the religious and cultural similarities between SE Asian countries and his state, Mein said that Buddhism spread across the state with Mahayana Buddhism in western parts – Tawang, Dirang and Bomdila, in the central part – Taksing, Mechuka and Tuting and Theravada Buddhism in Namsai and Changlang districts.

“Apart from 400 years old Tawang Gompa of Gelukpa Sect and 400 years old Gompa at Mechukha of Ningmapa Sect, Kongmukham (Golden Pagoda) in Namsai district has become a popular tourist destination. Thousands of people mostly Theravada Buddhist devotees especially Thai tourists visit this place every year,” he said.

Lauding the organizer, the Indian Embassy in Thailand and Trend MMS, he asserted that the festival will go a long way in further deepening the historical bond and bilateral relations and open new vistas for people to people connect between India and Thailand, particularly with the North East India and South East Asian countries.

The festival was inaugurated by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce of Kingdom of Thailand Jurin Laksanawisit, in presence of Union Minister of State for External Affairs R.K. Ranjan, chief minister of Nagaland Neiphiu Riu, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma, Arunachal Pradesh Tourism Minister Nakap Nalo, Assam Textile Minister Urkhao Gwra Brahma, Mizoram Tourism minister Robert Romawia Royte, Ambassador of India to Kingdom of Thailand Suchitra Durai and hosts of other dignitaries.

The three-day festival would showcase the cultural similarities between India and Thailand and the cultural diversities of Northeast India in which large delegates of industrialists, tour operators and cultural troupes from Thailand and Northeast India are participating. (PRO)

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