Eight months after the State shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Meghalaya will reopen to tourists from outside the State from December 21.
Informing this today, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma tweeted that the State government has decided to reopen tourism in the State for tourists from outside the State from December 21.
Visitors will have to download the Meghalaya Tourism app and register themselves in order to receive an ‘e-invite’. Photo identification has to be uploaded on the app and the full itinerary must be provided for at least the first two nights.
The e-invite has to be presented at the state’s entry checkpoints along with a Covid-negative certificate.
Meghalaya is one of the fastest-growing and travel destinations in the North East. The top tourist destinations are Sohra, Mawlynnong and Shnongpdeng.
However, the State’s tourism industry has been left reeling from the coronavirus onslaught since March this year and the government appears keen to lure a few visitors to Meghalaya while still trying to do so in a safe way.
People dependent on the tourism sector are experiencing economic loss due to the pandemic and the resultant lockdown imposed.
Even though the State government has reopened tourist spots for visitors from within the State since October 16, there was very less response.
It is expected that with the decision of the government to allow tourists from outside to visit the State, considerable changes would happen in the economy of people operating the tourist sites, home stay owners and hoteliers.
In 2019 Meghalaya recorded 1.2 million tourist footfall and the tourism sector has played a pivotal role in providing direct and indirect employment to the local people.
Recently, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said that the State government has prepared a roadmap to revamp the tourism sector in the State.
He informed that the government is committed to bringing in investment in the emerging tourism destinations by creating resorts and luxury tented accommodations which will revive the rural sector.
Sangma also said that the government is also investing in upskilling the rural tourism stakeholders so that the mode of revenues from tourism should flow into the rural areas.