Shillong, September 27: World Tourism Day carrying the theme,”Tourism and Digital Transformation” was observed at the State Convention Centre in the city today, wherein Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma attended as the Chief Guest in the presence of Tourism Minister, Metbah Lyngdoh, Principal Secretary Tourism, R.V Suchiang, Director, Tourism, C.V Diengdoh, officials from various departments, entrepreneurs, NGOs and students among others.
Addressing the gathering, the Chief Minister said that economic growth of the Sate is a priority of the Government and emphasized on the key role that entrepreneurs play in the growth and development of the State.
“Entrepreneurs are the engines of growth; the government can create the policies, programmes and the infrastructure but it requires the active involvement of entrepreneurs to push the economy forward”, the Chief Minister added.
The Chief Minister informed that his office has decided to initiate ‘entrepreneur of the month’ programme in which selected budding entrepreneurs will receive incentives from the government. This programme will “help leverage the drive for innovative and fresh ideas and also motivate others to become entrepreneurs”.
Speaking on the huge potential that tourism has in creating economic opportunities for the people the Chief Minister highlighted the need for the right packaging and promotion to be able to market it to the intended target groups.
“Tourism is a sector that requires specific marketing. Partnership of the tourism sector with digital social media platforms such as Facebook will allow us to spend our resources more effectively”, he added.
The Chief Minister also emphasized on the need to develop strategies to increase monetary spending by visiting tourists so that the State can turn the huge tourist footfall into economic benefits.
During the programme, a book entitled ‘MEGHALAYA RIVERS’ authored by Joe Rea-dickins, Dan Rea-Dickins and Zorba Laloo was released by the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister along with the Tourism Minister also handed over gifts to ten entrepreneurs and change makers as a mark of appreciation to their initiatives in the tourism sector.
Earlier in the day, technical sessions on topics including ‘Digital Skilling with Facebook and Whatsapp’ and ‘Adventure Tourism’ were held which saw active participation by entrepreneurs and NGOs.