Manipur, great tourist discovery of 21st century: Haokip

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New Delhi, Mar 28 (UNI) Manipur, a veritable paradise on earth where mother nature has been extra generous in her bounty, is the first place where Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose hoisted the Tricolour, adding more grace to the 'Jewel land'.

Speaking on the last day of the three-day Manipur Tourism Meet 2008, held at Dilli Haat here yesterday, State Tourism Minister T N Haokip said,''For the first time we are using this marketing tool for projecting the hidden potential of Manipur to attract more tourists.'' He said, ''the state promises to be the great tourist discovery of the 21st century.'' He strongly commended Manipur to be a safe place for foreign and domestic tourists.

''As compared to Delhi and Mumbai, crime is much less in Manipur,'' he added.

Also present in the valedictory function were president of the Association of Domestic Tours Operation of India (ADTOI) Mukesh Jagga and Principal Resident Commissioner Rakesh, IAS.

Mr Jagga said, ''the State has a great potential, it is a beautiful place and we all should make a pledge to visit there once.'' The Minister applauded the efforts put by the Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association (MMTA) for spreading Eco and Adventure Tourism.

Mr Haokip said,''Manipur will serve as the Gateway to South East Asian countries in near future under the Centre's Look East policy which will enhance the State's tourism.'' Dilli Haat was a perfect place for showcasing the event. The amphitheatre was decorated in ethnic Manipuri style and about 300 people had gathered to witness the event.

The theme of the function was to showcase the state as one of the tourist destinations through its culture, unique flora and fauna. Antique Manipur shawls, stone potteries, dry flowers tribal beads which were kept for sale, brightened the event.

The Minister also put forward the need of better facilities for the state and accepted the rugged terrain as the main drawback for the overall development of the State.

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