The Centre is working on an adventure policy to promote certain destinations as well as activities that make adrenaline surge.
India had never had such a policy that could impact sports as well as tourism, Union Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju said during the launch of a Thailand airline’s flight between Guwahati and Bangkok.
“I have asked officials in my Ministry to draft an adventure policy besides revamping the youth and sports policies. The Northeast will become the focal point in the entire approach,” he said on Sunday.
Mr. Rijiju said adventure destinations in the Himalayan and sub-Himalayan swathes of the Northeast could benefit from the policy, provided the region was promoted as a combined package and not in isolation by the constituent States.
Arunachal Pradesh, Mr. Rijiju’s home State, is geographically the region’s largest offering adventure sports such as mountaineering, mountain biking, paragliding, rock-climbing and white-water rafting. The other States – Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura – too have places ideal for adventure sports.
“All State governments in the Northeast must come together for unified tourism policy. Otherwise, the region’s culture and natural assets would remain a potential without being exploited sustainably,” Mr. Rijiju said at the programme to mark the launch of Nok Air’s inaugural flight.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal flagged off the flight — the first by any foreign airline to and from Guwahati — from the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport early on Sunday.
Mr. Rijiju also warned that the region had to first get out of the culture of shutdowns and blockades to cash in on tourism. Years of insurgency had already had a debilitating effect on the Northeast, he said.