The north-eastern Indian state of Assam is looking to promote lesser-known destinations and products in the state to increase tourist arrivals and expand its tourism ambit.
Presently, the tourism in the state is mainly centred around Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park, Kamakhaya Temple and Majuli – a river island in the Brahmaputra River.
“The infrastructure including road and railway network has improved across the state, offering much better connectivity. In the current pandemic times, our focus is mainly on domestic tourism and we want tourists to discover unexplored experiences that the region offers,” said Rituparna Baruah, chairman, Assam Tourism Development Corporation, while speaking to TTG Asia on the sidelines of North East Festival that concluded last week in Guwahati.
“Keeping this in mind, we are developing places like Deepor Beel, a freshwater lake, for tourism purposes. We plan to construct a bird watch tower and introduce houseboats on the water body. Already, Rs 130 million (US$1.7 million) has been sanctioned for the beautification of the lake.”
Other tourism products the state is keen to promote include village tours; tea gardens of Dibrugarh, some of which also house heritage bungalows and golf courses; besides places like Dima Hasao that is the home to Haflong, the only hill station in Assam, and Bendao Baiglai Waterfalls.
Recently, vistadome coaches have been introduced in the train route between the state capital Guwahati and Haflong. The vistadome coaches offer panoramic views of the mountains, thanks to its glass-fitted ceilings and big window panels.
“Assam has many vibrant villages where festivities take place around the year. The oil city of Assam, Digboi, has the oldest oil well in operation in the entire Asia. North Guwahati has many archeological sites of British era. We hope that tourists would include tours of these places in their itineraries,” said Shreya Barbara, CEO, Landscape Safari Tours & Travels.
With the aim to promote its lesser-known experiences, the tourism department is planning to organise roadshows in New Delhi and Mumbai in the near future.
“We will also organise roadshows in international markets once the pandemic situation improves,” added Baruah.