The Department of Tourism, Government of Manipur and the Ecotourism Society of India (ESOI) organised
a two-day Ecotourism Conclave in Imphal on 7-8 April 2014.
Initially, intended to be an Ecotourism Workshop to sensitize local tourism service providers, the conclave focussed on the larger objective to promote tourism in Manipur. The Conclave was inaugurated by V.K. Duggal, Governor of Manipur and Shilabhadra Banerjee, Former Secretary Tourism for India along with M.P. Bezbaruah, Former Secretary Tourism for India.
Over 20 speakers and experts in their own fields presented their views at the Conclave. The event received overwhelming response, with over 90 participants representing local tourism stakeholders, NGOs, academicians, tourism management students, and potential investors, apart from government officials.
All topics discussed were focused on the tourism assets that Manipur has to offer and ways to unleash the tourism potential of the states without impacting the environment negatively and reaping the employment and economic benefits of tourism in a long and sustainable manner.
Topics discussed included wildlife, adventure, gulf, polo, heritage, culture, art & cuisine, medical, tribal, water-based, rural tourism. It also addressed the issue of conservation of rich biodiversity and community involvement, apart from good ecotourism practices, and safe & honourable tourism.
“This Conclave occurred at a time when tourism to Manipur is on the upswing, with several investors putting up hotels with international affiliations. The state is also in the process to introduce their Tourism Policy, which is being currently drafted,” the release stated.
The Ecotourism Society of India will produce a white paper based on the proceedings and deliberations of the Conclave, and submit to the Manipur State Tourism Department to be incorporated in the policy guidelines. Apart from this a publication will be prepared based on the presentation of each speaker to be distributed to all tourism stakeholders in the State.