SHILLONG: Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Friday inaugurated the Ribbit Lake Resort on the occasion of the “Spring Festival 2020-Lake Side Fiesta”, organized jointly by the Department of Tourism, civil administration and Raid Nongkhlieng, at Langkawet, Pynursla sub-division.
Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong, MLAs S Sohtun and M Byrsat were among the other dignitaries present for the inauguration of the tourism project funded by the NEC and the State Government.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that the government has embarked on a mission to take tourism on a higher growth trajectory by creating new circuits in untapped destinations and create avenues for employment generation.
“The tourism sector is one area which the government strongly feels is going to be a game changer for the economy of the State. The kind of potential that we have in the yet unexplored areas, the cultural beauty, the hospitality of our people and the different kinds of local cuisines are what we need to market to the world”, he said while adding that the objective and policy of the government has always been to preserve the culture and natural beauty and create high value tourism to leverage the economy and create livelihood for the people.
Spelling out the government’s programmes and initiatives in the tourism sector, the Chief Minister informed that the State has been accorded a sanction of Rs 700 crore by the New Development Bank for development of rural tourism in Meghalaya adding that around 500 villages in the State will be covered under the development initiative to create infrastructure and amenities such as lodges and eateries for tourists.
The Chief Minister further added that local youths will be given the essential training to equip them with the necessary skill sets for employment in the tourism sector maintaining that the “ultimately goal of developing tourism is for the benefit of the local people”.
Addressing the gathering Tynsong said that the tourism sector presently contributes to roughly 30 per cent of the State’s revenue generation and called on all stakeholders to create a conducive environment to attract tourists to the state.
During his speech tourism director, CV Diengdoh said that tourism is not only a sector for the promotion and showcasing the beautiful tradition, culture and scenic beauty of Meghalaya to the visitors but also one which generates the maximum employment opportunities for the youth and the people of the State.
Speaking at length about the newly inaugurated project the tourism director said that with additional infrastructure such as solar panels for lighting and power generation the resort can become a unique example for sustainable and responsible tourism.
Among others present at the inaugural function were Grace Mary Kharpuri, MDC and R. Lalrodingi, Adviser (Banking, Industries and Tourism) NEC.