`Sustainable tourism way to go in northeast`

Updated: Apr 28, 2012, 09:40 AM IST

New Delhi: Sustainable, niche and community-based tourism - and not that of the five-star or mass variety - is the way to go for realising the full potential of the northeast, union Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai said Friday.

He was speaking after launching two books titled "Sustainable Tourism Development of Nagaland" and "Tourism Potential of North-East" by D.K. Bhalla, joint secretary in the ministry of food and consumer affairs at the capital`s India International Center.

Sahai said that because of the fragility of habitat and society in the northeastern states, the tourism had to be "sustainable and not the five star tourism or mass tourism because that can permanently damage the habitat and the society of these innocent people living in this beautiful part of the country."

Sahai claimed that the modern tourists were realising that a non-inclusive attitude towards the local people of tourist locations, was not sustainable and added that if properly managed, growth in tourism can be used to alleviate poverty and promote sustainable and equitable development.

Agreeing with the author`s portrayal of the northeast, he said that "it is a land of myths and mysteries, folklore and legends and of many tender dreams."

"The region is unique with more than 150 tribes speaking as many languages. This is the only place in the world where primitive culture of Neolithic age co-exists with the modern life style. It is a paradise for travelers," he added.

In "Sustainable Tourism Development of Nagaland", Bhalla has discussed characteristics and potential of sustainable tourism development in the northeast in general and in Nagaland in particular.

In "Tourism Potential of North-East", he has discussed the culture, history of region, community-based tourism, policy planning and development in the states of the region.