North East

MP suggests casinos, visits to former militant camps to boost tourism in Assam

Guwahati, October 16: Casinos, country liquor and visits to flood-affected areas and camps of surrendered militants will help promote tourism in Assam, a state known for its tea estates, a member of Parliament has suggested.
Biswajit Daimary, Rajya Sabha MP representing Bodo People’s Front (BPF), also said photographs of commander-in-chief of banned United Liberation Front of Assam-Independent (ULFA-I) Paresh Baruah should be used in promotional campaigns.
“… A visit to Assam should not be restricted to visit to the national parks and see the one-horned rhinos. People come to witness our lifestyle and enjoy a bit. But if there are restrictions on consuming liquor or dance a bit how will they have a fun-filled vacation,” Daimary said.
The MP made the comments while attending a program in Guwahati on Monday to release a promotional video of state tourism featuring Assam’s brand ambassador, Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra.
He also suggested taking tourists to camps of surrendered militants of various insurgent outfits and flood-affected areas.
“Designated camps of former militants should be on the tourism map. Tourists should be able to visit these places, interact with the former militants. Many people haven’t seen floods. They can visit flood-affected areas and know more about the issue,” he said.
Comparing actor Chopra with Baruah, Daimary said promoting the leader of the banned outfit could have given the tourism campaign a much wider publicity.
“Baruah is the most well-known person from Assam. Imagine the kind of publicity it could have generated if we were able to use his photos in promotional campaigns,” the MP said.
The Assam government has already relaxed its excise policy to promote commercial production and sale of traditional liquors used by various tribes in the state.
Chairperson of Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) Jayanta Malla Baruah welcomed most of the suggestions and said if implemented in a positive way they would boost tourism.
“If we are able to promote monsoon tourism, it would definitely benefit the sector. And tourists going to designated camps of former militants would get to know about them better,” he said. (Courtesy: HT)