Nagaland Tourism Policy
Nagaland Tourism Policy
NAGALAND TOURISM POLICY
Tourism in the State
Nagaland's tourism resources are immense. Its history, culture and the mysticism associated with the customs and ways of its hill tribes has been the source of great curiosity to not only Indians but people all over the world. It is a land of charm, diverse in landscape and culture and offers opportunities for a whole range of tourism activities, which to date has not been fully tapped.
Tourism, however, was a late starter in Nagaland as it was only in 1981, that the Department of Tourism came to its own when it
was bifurcated from the department of Information and Public Relation. The last two decade or so has not witnessed much development and at present the number of tourists coming to Nagaland is negligible. The available figures show that during the last 5 years the number of domestic tourists has ranged from 13000-15000 per year, while foreign tourists has not even crossed the figure of 200-300 approximately, so far.
No doubt, the state has its own constrains due to the general perceptions regarding security and law and order conditions. Though, marketing and promotional measures can partly prevail over this image, ultimately it is the visitor's experiences that matter and this is the area where the state need to put maximum attention for correction of its image. Some of the more acute constraints to the development of tourism in Nagaland are:
i) Poor communication linkage with Nagaland and the region and also within the state.
ii) Poor condition of tourism infrastructure. The roads are slow and inadequate, wayside amenities almost non-existent or where they exist, they lack in quality, cleanliness and hygiene and most places do not have decent affordable lodging of reasonable standard.
iii) Tourism has not been given the priority it deserves in the thinking process of the government, as it has been accorded meager budget allocation coupled with thin distribution of this resource over too many schemes to satisfy the local demands.
iv) Travel restrictions such as the RAP/PAP for foreign nationals and ILP for the domestic visitors has greatly limited the entry of tourists to the state.
v) Lack of effective policies, lack of effective marketing, lack of private entrepreneurs etc. are the setbacks for the successful takeoff of tourism in the state.
These are some of the main constraints that require to be taken cognizance of, in the policy formulation. As amply proved elsewhere, it is necessary to recognize the importance of tourism as an activity for socio-economic development for the state. A comprehensive
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tourism policy highlighting the objectives of tourism development in the state needs to be promulgated by the government, and this policy enunciation precisely aims to point towards that direction.
The prime objectives of the policy are:
i) To provide a planned development of tourism based on promotion of domestic and international tourism.
ii) Identification of tourist potential areas and development of these resources and strengthening of the existing and viable infrastructures on a selective and intensive basis for maximum benefit to the state economy.
iii) To prepare and implement a master plan for integrated development and marketing of identified circuits.
iv) To create and provide necessary infrastructural facilities such as power, water, roads, transportation, accommodation etc. for development of tourism in the state.
v) To improve, diversify and expand the marketing of tourism products in the state.
vi) To promote private entrepreneurship and gradually shift towards selective privatization of the govt. infrastructure by way of leasing out to private individuals/groups or firms and business houses etc.
vii) Creation of tourism infrastructure so as to preserve the distinctive handicrafts, folk arts and culture of the state and thereby attract more tourists.
viii) Promote conservation and enhancement of natural resources as regards to flora and fauna, natural beauty, forests and unique features of the state through regulated development.
ix) Promotion of rural, ethnic, cultural, eco and adventure tourism.
x) To create awareness about the potential of tourism and thereby, generates the growth of a tourist-friendly culture.
xi) To reorganize the Department of tourism for a more effective functioning.
xii) Development of human resources in tourism related activities.
STRATEGY FOR DEVELOPMENT
The strategy of achieving the above objectives is outlined below:
i) Developing areas on a selective basis for integrated growth.
ii) Improvement of tourism infrastructure and services.
iii) Incentive package.
iv) Marketing and overseas publicity of destinations to ensure
optimum use of existing infrastructure.
v) Enhancement of budget allocation in the state plan and linking of tourism activities schemes with other Departments
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vi) Restructuring and strengthening of the Department.
vii) Human Resource Development.
Effective coordination between various government departments and agencies for developing tourism industry by:
i) Constitution of a Nagaland Tourism Council to take appropriate policy decision on steps to boost the tourism sector.
ii) Constitute a Coordination Committee for inter-departmental coordination.
iii) Establishment of district level Coordination Committees to coordinate and regulate tourism activities at the district/village level.
1. DEVELOPING AREAS ON A SELECTIVE BASIS FOR INTEGRATED GROWTH.
i) The budgetary support for development of infrastructure in tourism have been very negligible from the state fund and central assistance which is to be used only as supplementary resource, has become the main source of financing tourism development. This assistance too has been spread thinly over a large number of schemes/projects, that the desired level of development has not taken place in any area/region. Given this scenario, it will be the government's policy to ensure a most efficient use of the existing resources by avoiding the diffusion of resources thinly but to concentrate on focusing on identified circuits and destinations on a phase manner on priority basis. On completion of the project in hand, new circuits/destinations will be taken up.
ii) The infrastructural development of tourism will be commensurate with the tourist destinations, identified for promotion and places where PAP relaxation has been accorded by Government of India
The following circuits will be developed in a phase manner and in order of priority.
1. Dimapur - Kohima - Dimapur.
2. Dimapur - Kohima - Wokha - Mokokchung - Dimapur.
3. Mokokchung - Mon - T uensang.
4. Kohima - Phek - Zunheboto.
The first priority concentration will be in the Dimapur and Kohima region. In the second phase, the tourism development in other circuits can be taken up. However, simultaneous with the major development of Dimapur and Kohima region, basic infrastructure for the other centres should be developed in phase, so that they are poised for take-off at short notice. These centres/destinations will be selected on the basis of accessibility and carrying capacity of the place, local inspirations/supports/places of natural, historical and cultural relevance.
iii) Thrust areas will also be identified in the context of the indigenous development and tourists’ expectation in the area of ethnic/rural tourism, cultural tourism, adventure tourism and eco-tourism. Government will accord priority to the development of those places with potentials and where the local communities are prepared for active, involvement in developing the activity.
iv) Tourism development activities are not confined to development of simple attractions only. It is closely linked with the overall development of the state and
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hence requires coordinated approach in developing infrastructures such as: transportation, road, water supply, telecommunication, electricity, security etc. by all the concerned department/agencies. The state government will have to provide basic structures and other services to facilitate the development of tourism in the state.
v) Development of tourism in ecologically fragile areas will be based on thorough understanding of local resources, social and economic factors and other characteristics. The planning and regulatory process will carefully go into various details that have a bearing on ecology and will specify methods for construction, incorporating the indigenous architectural style, encourage the use of eco-friendly local materials, and eco-techniques (solar energy, rain water collection and utilization, recycling of waste etc.), all of which will minimize the negative impact on environment.
vi) The coordination committees constituted at the state level as well as the district levels will also administer to the effective implementation of this aspect of the policy at I (v) above.
2. IMPROVEMENT OF TOURIST INFRASTRUCTURE.
i) Hotels are an important vital segment of the tourism infrastructure. It will, therefore, be the endeavour of the state policy to have a list of Government approved/registered hotels/lodges under the State Tourist Trade Act, which would be expected to function within the laid down norms / guidelines of the government. These hotels/lodges will also be subjected to regular inspection by a committee, comprising of the department of tourism, food and sanitation, and the police / administration. These approved hotels will feature in all the publications of the department in the print as well as in the electronic media in India and abroad and will be eligible for all incentives announced by the Government from time to time.
ii) Special Paying Guest scheme will also be introduced in some selected places/villages for providing affordable and hygienic accommodation for both domestic and foreign tourists and to take care of the seasonal flow of tourists. Selection of such places will be on need basis requirement and tourist potential area of the place. Appropriate regulatory guidelines will be brought out in this regard.
iii) Some of the infrastructures set up by the department,
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such as the tourist rest houses, way side amenities, tourist lodges, resorts etc. will also be leased out to interested local parties/organizations/village councils/VDBs/churches/ women's organizations/youth organizations etc., on payment of nominal rent to the department. But the management has to ensure certain minimum standard facilities and comfort to the visitors.
iv) Participation of private and reputed entrepreneurs from outside the state will also be encouraged in the setting up of and management of quality and standard tourist infrastructures on a joint venture basis.
v) All proposals for accommodation infrastructures to be built up, such as lodges/resorts/hotels etc. by private entrepreneurs will require the clearance of the tourism department, for strict adherence to the requirements specified at I (iv) above.
II Tour Operators / Travel Agents.
Travel Agents are tour operators and constitute an important sector of tourism industry and it will be the state policy to issue special permits to tour operators / travel agents who are registered with the Department of Tourism, Nagaland in the interest of promoting tourism within the state. These travel agents and tour operators will be granted all possible assistance from the state Government for accommodation, transportation, travel permits, liaisoning with the districts etc. and will be eligible for all incentives of the state government.
III Introduction of the Nagaland Registration of Tourist Trade Act.
There is a need to introduce the Tourist Trade Act and Rules in the state, to provide for regulation and promotion of tourism in the state by way of -registration of persons dealing with the tourists and matters therewith, and to ensure a coordinated and a regulated development of tourism in the state.
IV Fairs and Festivals.
i) Fairs and festivals not only reflect the rich cultural heritage of Nagaland, but could also become the biggest attraction for tourists. Places/villages which regularly observe such traditional festivals annually will be encouraged further and will be clearly shown as tourist destinations of Nagaland and the Government shall accord priority for the infrastructural development, improvement and marketing of such places.
ii) It will be the endeavour of the Government to have a tie up with the NEZCC and the department of Art & Culture for making arrangement at important tourist destinations to organize cultural evenings all year round to further develop and promote distinctive cultural beauty of the area/region.
iii) Closer tie-up and coordination with the state department of Art & Culture in all areas of cultural activities and linking up of all the state museums in the districts with the infrastructural development activities.
i) In the absence of other means of transport in Nagaland (like rail, waterway, etc.,) a good network of road connectivity is the basic requirement coupled with adequate means of road transportation such as coaches, taxis and so on to facilitate comfortable movement of tourists to different destinations. For this,
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the department will acquire some tourist coaches which are adequately equipped to meet the needs of tourists.
ii) Government will, through NIDC. NEDFI etc., also introduce suitable scheme to encourage private tour operators/transporters to operate tourist taxis/coaches etc. within the state for hiring of such vehicles by the tourists.
VI Setting up proper Felicitation Facilities at all entry Points.
A visitor's first impression of a place is very much based on the facilities available in its airport, rail/bus station etc. It will be the state policy to provide transport services, information counters, telephone facilities etc. which will contribute in generating a tourist friendly atmosphere.
VII Development of Inter State Circuits.
Inter-state tourism circuits will be developed by linking the important places of other states across the borders of Nagaland with other circuits. In due course, networking with tourism promotion agencies in Government as well as private sector in the neighbouring states will be strengthened.
i) Under the State Industrial Policy of Nagaland 2000, Tourism has been accorded the status of "Priority Sector". Accordingly, Government orders will be issued making tourism activities eligible for all benefits to the industry. Only such units which comply with the prescribed norms of recognition and whose projects have been approved by the department would be eligible for these benefits, as contained in the State Industrial Policy of 2000, in area of central subsidy for small and medium scale sector, transport etc., and the state subsidy on power generation and power tariff, water supply, tax exemption etc.
ii) Financial corporations like NMFC/NSFC/NEDFI/TECI etc., will be associated to finance profitable projects like hotels, restaurants, transport services, travel agents etc. All such projects, will however, be subjected to clearance from the department for location, viability and structure point of view.
4 MARKETING AND OVERSEAS PUBLICITY.
Marketing of the tourism products of an area is essential in order to inform prospective tourists what the area has to offer, as well as to persuade them to visit it. Today, tourism industry is a highly competitive arena with many destinations competing against each other to attract the potential tourists. Thus, the state has to be prepared to meet this competition through an aggressive marketing strategy by:
i) Production of publicity materials, such as brochures, tourist literatures, handouts, audio-visual materials/films, hosting of web sites etc.
ii) Media advertising in specific journals, periodicals, hoarding, internet etc.
iii) Participation in various tourism related conferences, fairs, marts held in the country and on a selective basis abroad.
iv) Thrust on public relations during the first phase of tourism development by organizing FAM tours for travel writers and travel agents of other states and countries.
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5. NEED FOR CO-ORDINATION AND SYNERGY WITH OTHER AGENCIES AND RESTRUCTURING THE DEPARTMENT
For developing a vibrant and a successful tourism industry, organisational structure need to be instituted, improved and augmented, as the tourism industry requires state and local level planning, provision of infrastructure, regulation, marketing and management of tourist infrastructure and attractions. The state policy will address these issues of organizational structure at three levels:
i) Apex level
ii) Departmental level
iii) Attraction specific/local level
Tourism plans should not be seen primarily as the responsibility of the Tourism Department alone. It is multi sectoral activity, involving the different segment of the Government, the policy makers, the legislators, the bureaucrats and the common people who come in touch with tourists in various ways. The state policy, therefore, would ensure the necessary linkages and synergy in the policies and programs of all concerned departmentJagencies, involved in infrastructure development.
I. Apex Level
a. Nagaland Tourism Council: to take policy decision on steps to boost the tourism sector and give their recommendation on tourism related problems, activities and development programs. The council will be headed by the Chief Minister and will meet at least once a year. Other members will be the Ministers of Tourism, Home, Industry, R&B, Art & Culture, Rural Development, PHED, Forest & Environment, the Chief Secretary and the Commissioner. The Commissioner/Secretary (Tourism) will be the member secretary.
b. State Tourism Coordination Committee: under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary for inter-departmental coordination. Other members will be from department like PHE, Home & Tourism. In addition, the Chief Secretary/Additional CS may invite any other department as per requirement. The main function of this committee will be to coordinate inter sectoral inputs and monitor the implementation of tourism plans and policies and remove bottle necks.
II. Departmental Level
i) In order to achieve policy goals, the departmental organization also need to be strengthened, with the creation of a few new posts, particularly at the managerial and executive level.
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ii) Tourist information offices of Nagaland will be established in Delhi and Guwahati in addition to the one in Kolkata.
iii) District tourism office to be set up in all the districts of Nagaland for coordination at the district level.
iv) A "Research Cell -cum- Registration Cell" will be constituted in the department of tourism. The cell will gather tourist related information and statistics to prepare a data bank and to give advice to the department from time to time as well as see to the registration of all activities under the Nagaland Registration of Tourist Trade Act.
v) There will also be the implementing wing of all infrastructural activities of the Deptt., to be executed by the department. Additional technical hand will be available from the Public Works Department.
III. Attraction Specific/local level
Where as, Government structure is of a top down nature, it is also necessary to have "inputs from the local level in the districts as well as the villages so that the plans and programs of tourism reflect grassroots realities and private participation be encouraged.
This can be achieved by:
i) Constitution of District Coordination Committee at every district, to be chaired by the DC., of each district. Other members could include the members of the Town Committees, Village Councils/VDBs, concerned departments and organizations (private) involved in tourism activities. The tourist officer will be member secretary of the committee. The committee will regulate the operation and management of all tourist infrastructures and advice the government of developmental activities as per the capacity of p laces recommended.
ii) Management of isolated attractions such as tourist rest houses, wayside amenities, waterfalls, picnic spots, etc., with minimum infrastructure would be in the hands of local organizations. These organizations would also take care of the cleanliness and litter management of these attractions. DC, of each district will coordinate the constitution of each committee in each of the identified tourist destinations as well as potential tourist spots.
iii) All DC's will also ensure that some of the developmental activities of tourism will also be incorporated in the District Plan Fund and in the programs of RD, R&B, PHED, Power Department etc.
6. HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT.
Tourism is a labour intensive activity and skilled manpower is an important requirement for sustained tourism development. It will, therefore, be the state policy to adequately lay emphasis on this vital aspect of tourism and manpower development. Training will be given due weightage to ensure efficient service and
management of tourist facilities for maximum returns of investments made. This will be achieved by:
i) Conducting various training programmes, seminars, and workshops for not only
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the departmental staff, but also the public to meet the requirement of accommodation, catering, tourist guides, hotel management, eco-tourism, trekking management, etc.
ii) Training will be held within and outside the state in collaboration with various institutes of Tourism and Travel Management of India, set up by the Ministry of Tourism all over the country.
iii) Training will also be conducted in the state training institutes like ATI and SIRD, for awareness generation of the potentials of tourism, by inviting resource persons from the Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management (IITTMs) and the Government of India tourist offices.
7. ENHANCEMENT OF BUDGETARY ALLOCATION.
I.State Plan Fund.
Financing of the tourism department's development activities are primarily from two sources - State and Central. The total plan size of Nagaland has grown from Rs. 600 lakhs in the eight five years plan to Rs. 1402 lakhs in the ninth five years plan (1997 - 2002). The utilization of this, so far, is about Rs. 920.62 lakhs only and the bulk of which goes on salary component. The fund availability to the Tourism Department under the CSS was approximately Rs. 400 lakhs for the last two years. The funding was targeted towards development of wayside amenities, resorts, tourist attractions and upgradation of existing infrastructures. The revenue earnings of the Department during the last two years were Rs. 26.78 lakhs only.
From the above figures, it is obvious, that, the fund availability to the department is most inadequate for the development of tourism in the state. Enhancement in the State Plan Fund is essential to meet the funding needs of the tourism development in the state.
II NEC and CSS Fund.
Efforts will be made to supplement funding for infrastructure from NEC and also from the Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
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