By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Oct 20: Within 24 hours of State Tourism Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma releasing the Tourism Policy of Assam, 2017, BJP MP RP Sarmah has supported it, but not without a rider. He has dropped yet another bombshell barely a few weeks after he was cautioned by the party for his earlier statement on ‘commissionraj’.
Uploading a post in this regard in social media and then addressing the media in Guwahati on Friday, Sarmah said: “I’m opposed to ministers going abroad to promote tourism without being thorough on tourism potential, prospects and tourism infrastructure in the State. We need to be very clear as to what types of tourists we want to woo. If we want religious tourists (pilgrims) we need to go to UP, Bihar, MP etc. If we want Buddhist tourists, we need to sign a deal with Chi. Without any knowledge on tourism and its potentialities in Assam we can’t woo any tourists even if we stay nights after nights in five-star hotels in foreign countries. Gujarat has nothing much other than Somth Temple and a few others to lure pilgrims. However, Mega Star Amitabh Bachchan, in his avatar as Tourism Ambassador of the State, has changed tourist flow into the State. Who doesn’t know muga silk in Assam? The advertisement that appeared in the media on Friday should’ve been published in tiol and intertiol media where the golden fabric is not known. Such approach can only woo tourists to the State. Even people from South India aren’t aware of the Shaktipeeth Kamakhya. It’s well known among West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Nepal. If the tourist spots of the State are to be made popular in the world, we need to circulate advertisements on them in electronic conveyer belts in the major intertiol airports at Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Bagalore, Cheni, Hyderabad etc. This route has been chosen by Kerala, Kartaka, Madhya Pradesh etc., with positive outcome. If properly tapped, only tourism sector can absorb around five lakh unemployed youth in the State. Infrastructure in our government guest houses needs to be developed.”
Commenting on the infrastructure of State guest houses, Sarmah said in the social media earlier in the day ‘… Further, before inviting tourists, Government should build up tourism infrastructure in the state. Imagine a situation:: a chief minister stays overnight in a government guest house in Kaziranga, next morning goes to washroom for a bath, after smearing soap all over his body finds there is no water in the tap, calls his PA over cell phone and waits for ten minutes before water flows to his washroom. If such is the condition of our government guest house, who would come to Assam!? We should learn from Gujarat, Goa, Kartaka and other states. Tourists want good facilities, quick quality service and secure and comfortable stay…’