Govt to shorten Sangai Fest to 7 days

STAFF REPORTER
IMPHAL, 5th Sep: A meeting of top officials held in the presence of chief minister N Biren has decided to shorten the annually organised International Sangai Festival to seven days from ten days and Shirui Lily Festival to four days from five for this year.
Talking to this daily, director (tourism) Waikhom Ibohal revealed that discussion on introduction of new events in the ensuing International Sangai Festival has been started to make the tourism festival more attractive and the decision of reducing the number of days of the two grand festivals was taken considering the seven days common travel package for foreign tourists who visit the state to watch the festivals and the fact that the real ethos of the festivals would be squandered if it is held for long.
He maintained that the Sangai Festival has been organised annually to attract more foreign tourists and showcase the blessed scenic beauty of the state and the uniqueness of the shy and gentle brow-antlered deer popularly known as the Sangai.
He said that inflow of foreign tourists in the state has been increased with holding of the Sangai Festival and the decision of shortening the festival to seven days from ten days was also taken to not disturb academic atmosphere in educational institutes as many students of different schools and colleges usually come in large numbers continuously to enjoy the festival by compromising their study.
He conveyed that events showcased in earlier editions of the festival will be reviewed and planetarium items included in the past, which failed to attract visitors, will be removed in this year’s edition. Ibohal also informed that process for inviting professional players from Thailand to take part in the festival has already been initiated with an aim to learn skill development from them and in this regard he personally had met Thailand ambassador to India in New Delhi.
The inflow of foreign tourists in the state in 2017 was recorded at 3,728 and around 10,000 in 2018 and 2019. The credit for rapid increase in entry of foreign tourists should go to Sangai Festival, he claimed.
He further disclosed that the tourism department is discussing to spend only Rs 9 crore for organising the festival this year as compared to Rs 10 crore last year and Rs 13 crore in the past.


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