Majuli, the area carved out by the river Bhramaputra, is the only island that spans over 328 square kilometer across the river, deeming it the largest landmass in the planet. Legend has it that Lord Krishna resided in Majuli for the most part of this childhood.
The recent expression of awareness on the part of the Sarbananda Sonowal Government about the potentiality of tourism in Assam and certain measures, like selection of a brand ambassador and budget provisions on the anvil in the way of giving exposure to the State in the field of domestic and international tourism, is indeed an encouraging move. Assam, even in the second half of the Second decade of the 21st century, is a scantly exposed and poorly projected part of India. Despite the fact that the Assamese people as a whole are known for their generosity and hospitality and the fact that Assam with its natural bounty is comparable to many other places of the country and the globe that are thriving on the inflow of tourists, both domestic and international, Assam unfortunately features only too poorly in the tourism map of the country with only a meagre share of inflow of tourists. Assam has solid potentiality of tourism of multiple genres. With natural beauty and with attractions of varied nature likewildlife, teaplan tations, archaeological and religious attractions as tourist destinations, the State if provided with adequate infrastructure can be a destination
Comparable to the States that have a huge turnout of domestic and international tourists and consequently is sure to achieve a huge turnover as earning from tourism. Assam as of now evenfallstofind its place among the first 100 States of the country despite huge potential.
Personally, whileonoutingstovarious States ofthe country on aholiday or on business trips, one thing that strikes most in one's mind is that Assam lacks exposure. People Outside the State are still either uninformed or misinformed about the region. Questions like whether One requires a passport to visit Assam coming from a Mumbaikar Oranaverage Delhiite cannotor should not putusindismay becauseitis aproof that we have not done enough to
project Our State outside her geographical boundaries. This is where the new State Government's move to engaged Bollywood acto the
tourism brand bassador is likely to strike a chord. One of the good
ways of giving and getting publicity is through the stars of the silver screen or sportspersons. The words of praise for the State and its people coming frominolesseraperson than another superstarof Bollywood Amir Khan, who frequented Assam and Arunachal Pradesh more than OICC during the last couple of years, tOO will no doubt spread a good Word about the State and will go to dispel doubts about the State's people and their attitude.
Assam is known world over for its quality tea and wildlife, mainly for the one-horned rhinos. Assam for many belonging to the USA, Europe or any part of the globe might have been a cherished destination with proper publicity and availability of infrastructure but the statistics on tourist visits to the State would bear anarrative that would involve disappointmentatthelow turnout of tourists-international Ordomestic. The
reason of this againcan be attributed to the lack of publicity and dearth of information about the region to prospective visitors from the COuntry and abroad. The brochures and information booklets on Assamare not handy even at the five star hotels of the metropolitan cities and the tourist information bureaus are notadequately fed with the required infor mation about Assam. The previous governments did precious little for promoting the Stateasatourist des. tination. In contrast to this, two oth er States from the North-east, Sikkim and Meghalaya, have greater turnouts of tourists incomparisonto Assam because of the efficient maChinery towards makinginformation availabletoprospective tourists and infrastructure toattractand aCCOmodate them.
The publicity accorded by a superstar or two from the film World Will no doubtact positively to arouse Curiosity about the region but to fill
up the gap between expectations Of a particular touristand the available
tourismfacilityis ofsenious COI.Cerm, There are too many negative cir.
cumstances which will require great effort, determination and energy on
the part of the Government and tourism promoting agencies to arrest and improve. Tourism is not only about beautiful tourist spots with hills, waterfalls and wildlife sanctuaries. GOOdroads, transport, acCOmmodation to suit the wallets of travellers ofdifferentincomegroupsand food of their choice are the most rudimentary necessities. If one is to ask if all these requirements are there at hand with Assam tourism, the answer will be a big No.
er in the matter of up to date infor mationin regard to the wherewithalofany destinationin Assam. The Overallimage of the Stateabroad and Outside the State is not too encouraging. Andnot very wrongly so, because the State it appears is widely known for its multiple insurgent groups, bandhs, roadblockades and the likes; here, various groups declare abandh or a blockade at the dropofahat. Thetourists travel with apre-laidoutschedule andan unexpected bandhora roadblockade no doubt works as a spoiler. The bandh Culture has to be dealt with sternly