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British envoy calls for better marketing to attract tourists to NE

By R DUTTA CHOUDHURY

GUWAHATI, Nov 17 - Proper marketing is the need of the hour to attract tourists from Britain and other western countries to Assam and other parts of the Northeast, while developing waterways through Bangladesh can play a major role in improving trade ties between the region and other parts of the world. This was the view expressed by the British Deputy High Commissioner to India, Bruce Bucknell.

Talking to The Assam Tribune here, Bucknell admitted that around a million British tourists visit India every year, but most of them visit places like Agra, Delhi, Rajasthan, etc., and only a handful of them visit Assam and other parts of the Northeast. He said the region has enough potential to attract tourists from Britain and everyone knows about the Kaziranga and Manas national parks. But there is a need for marketing the tourism potential of the region to attract tourists, he added.

Bucknell pointed out that apart from the natural beauty, including wildlife, the people of Britain would be interested in the cultural heritage, folk culture, etc. The British has an age-old link with the tea gardens of Assam and if tea bungalows can be developed as heritage buildings where tourists can stay, that can be an added attraction for the tourists.

He also said that there is enough scope for development of water tourism in Assam, and West Bengal has already initiated steps in this regard. He pointed out that the younger tourists from Britain are interested in adventure tourism like trekking, and the government can think of developing adventure tourism facilities.

The British Deputy High Commissioner expressed the view that connectivity is also an issue and the government would have to take effective steps in this regard as getting permission to visit states like Arunachal Pradesh is also a problem for tourists.

Replying to a question on whether the British tourists feel safe while visiting this part of the country, Bucknell said sometimes reports about violence keep the tourists off the region. He pointed out that these days, every incident of violence or disturbance is reported widely, and such reports create apprehension in the minds of the people.

On the possibility of British investments in the region, Bucknell admitted that most such investments are coming to places like the National Capital Region, Bengaluru, Maharashtra, etc. But at the same time, he said that there is growing interest among the potential investors in the Northeast and the main area of interest is the agro-food processing sector.

He stressed the need for improving the infrastructure, including communication in the region, and expressed the view that development of waterways would be of great help, while the Asian Highway can be of great importance in improving connectivity. The British investors may also be interested in service and IT sectors, he added.

�The northeastern region of India has a large number of youths having a good knowledge of English and this can be of major help in bringing investments to this part of the country,� he said.

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British envoy calls for better marketing to attract tourists to NE

GUWAHATI, Nov 17 - Proper marketing is the need of the hour to attract tourists from Britain and other western countries to Assam and other parts of the Northeast, while developing waterways through Bangladesh can play a major role in improving trade ties between the region and other parts of the world. This was the view expressed by the British Deputy High Commissioner to India, Bruce Bucknell.

Talking to The Assam Tribune here, Bucknell admitted that around a million British tourists visit India every year, but most of them visit places like Agra, Delhi, Rajasthan, etc., and only a handful of them visit Assam and other parts of the Northeast. He said the region has enough potential to attract tourists from Britain and everyone knows about the Kaziranga and Manas national parks. But there is a need for marketing the tourism potential of the region to attract tourists, he added.

Bucknell pointed out that apart from the natural beauty, including wildlife, the people of Britain would be interested in the cultural heritage, folk culture, etc. The British has an age-old link with the tea gardens of Assam and if tea bungalows can be developed as heritage buildings where tourists can stay, that can be an added attraction for the tourists.

He also said that there is enough scope for development of water tourism in Assam, and West Bengal has already initiated steps in this regard. He pointed out that the younger tourists from Britain are interested in adventure tourism like trekking, and the government can think of developing adventure tourism facilities.

The British Deputy High Commissioner expressed the view that connectivity is also an issue and the government would have to take effective steps in this regard as getting permission to visit states like Arunachal Pradesh is also a problem for tourists.

Replying to a question on whether the British tourists feel safe while visiting this part of the country, Bucknell said sometimes reports about violence keep the tourists off the region. He pointed out that these days, every incident of violence or disturbance is reported widely, and such reports create apprehension in the minds of the people.

On the possibility of British investments in the region, Bucknell admitted that most such investments are coming to places like the National Capital Region, Bengaluru, Maharashtra, etc. But at the same time, he said that there is growing interest among the potential investors in the Northeast and the main area of interest is the agro-food processing sector.

He stressed the need for improving the infrastructure, including communication in the region, and expressed the view that development of waterways would be of great help, while the Asian Highway can be of great importance in improving connectivity. The British investors may also be interested in service and IT sectors, he added.

�The northeastern region of India has a large number of youths having a good knowledge of English and this can be of major help in bringing investments to this part of the country,� he said.

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