Foreign tourists appalled by poor road condition in state

STAFF REPORTER
IMPHAL, 29th Nov: There has been an increase in the number of foreign tourists landing here to join Manipur Sangai Festival which commenced from November 21. However, the foreign tourists have expressed that even though Manipur is a scenic and exotic place, the condition of the roads leading to the state is appalling.
One foreigner, who said that he came to know about Sangai Festival through internet, conveyed that he came to join the festival believing it to be exciting and unique as Sangai is found only in Manipur. He also gave surety that he will try to come in future editions of the festival.
Many foreign tourists who have toured India earlier came to the North East and decided to join the Sangai Festival in Manipur, and most of them came on land route from Dimapur.
They pointed out that even if Manipur is a beautiful tourist destination, the condition of the roads leading needs to be improved to make the trip comfortable.
On the other-hand, tourism director Ibohal informed that there has been an increase in the number of tourists coming to witness Manipur Sangai Festival. Up to the 7th day of the festival, around one lakh people have visited the venue at Hapta Kangjeibung and more than 70,000 people have attended the festival at Lamboi Khongnangkhong venue.
The record of the visitors was obtained from the ticket counters, he added.
Ibohal also observed that increase in the number of foreign tourists implies that they are aware and have accepted Manipur as a tourist hot-spot.
Pointing out that the maximum numbers of foreign tourists were from France, UK, USA and Japan, the tourism director conveyed that increase in the number of visiting tourists is an indication of foreigners’ awareness about the Sangai Festival.
Ibohal , who maintained that the festival will never succeed if there was lack of co-operation among various departments of the government, appreciated the efforts of Manipur police in ensuring security to the visitors.
He also pointed out that about 800 books including 50 by him have been donated to the book donation stall which was incorporated as a new item in this year’s Sangai festival. Saying that he will discuss with the government to keep the books properly, Ibohal continued that apart from voluntary donation made by visitors, volunteers of the stall also collect books from houses of the donors.
Opining that there are low sale record of products in the festival this time even though there are large number of visitors as the festival is being held just after Ningol Chakkouba and Diwali, etc., the tourism director suggested that if the festival is conducted ahead of Ningol Chakkouba or Diwali, there will be surge in sales and will benefit both local and foreign exhibitors.


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