Northeast sees rise in tourist inflows

New Delhi, Oct 18 (IANS) Eight northeastern states have seen a rise in tourist inflows, both domestic and foreign, between the period of 2007 to 2009, a tourism ministry statement said here.

According to the statement, in 2007, the states had received 47,26,218 domestic tourists and the number rose to 52,11,740 in 2008. It subsequently rose to 57,04,250 in 2009.

The number of foreign tourists visiting the states similarly rose from 43,058 in 2007 to 47,561 in 2008. This increased marginally – to 47,658 – last year.

The northeastern region of the country comprises Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.

Except Nagaland, which saw a dip in the number of domestic tourist inflow over the period – 22,085 to 20,953, other seven states saw a rise in the inflows. However, foreign tourists registered a rise in Nagaland.

Manipur, Meghalaya and Mizoram saw a drop in the number of foreign tourists in the period.

The statement also said the home ministry has relaxaed the Protected Area Regime in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.

As per the relaxation, Protected Area Permit (PAP) can now be issued to foreign tourists visiting in a group of two or more, instead of the earlier mandate of four or more, for a maximum period of 30 days in Arunachal Pradesh.

In Sikkim, the PAP can be issued to visiting foreign tourists initially for 30 days which can be extended to 30 more days.