NEW DELHI, Dec 18 - Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday underlined the need to improve air connectivity to the North East, and called for tapping the full tourism potential of the region.
Naidu said eco-tourism and cultural tourism can become the mainstay of development in the North East if the tourism potential was fully leveraged.
Noting the efforts of the Central and State governments in providing connectivity and tourism infrastructure, he said that improving air connectivity to the North East can singularly bring a significant positive impact on tourist inflow.
Pointing out that India has 26 million outbound tourists every year, the Vice President said that one could assume that most of them would prefer to �travel local� in the post COVID-19 phase. This presents a huge opportunity for the North East to promote the tourism sector for this domestic audience, he said.
Urging the State and Central governments to fully tap the tourism potential of the region, he also urged them to consider the possibility of incentivising travel to the North East.
Virtually releasing the book Oh Mizoram, authored by Mizoram Governor PS Sreedharan Pillai, the Vice President praised the region for its pristine natural beauty and said that Mizoram�s colourful festivals, folk music and energetic dance make the Mizo society truly unique. Often called as �Songbird of the East�, the Mizos are blessed with a natural talent for music, he added.
The Vice President said the whole of the North East presents a mosaic of diverse Indian culture with its more than 220 ethnic groups and an equal number of dialects.
He said the people of the North East who live harmoniously with nature and eat natural diet can show the way to the rest of India in adopting a healthy lifestyle, because a large number of Indians are in the grip of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension and obesity due to sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy food habits.
The event was attended by the Governor, and Union Minister of State for Development of the North-Eastern Region (DoNER) Dr Jitendra Singh, among other dignitaries.