Shillong, Oct. 4: A mixed group of tour operators, shopkeepers, and tourism promoters today expressed dismay over the ongoing agitation for the inner-line permit (ILP) in Meghalaya as it has trampled their business prospects with low tourist footfall.
At a meeting convened by the Meghalaya Tourism Development Forum (MTDF), the participants were unhappy with the current state of affairs that has gripped Meghalaya for the past one month.
Forum chairman Robert G. Lyngdoh said the ongoing agitation has been taking an overall toll on the tourism sector.
“Hotel bookings have gone down by 70 per cent,” Lyngdoh claimed.
According to Lyngdoh, also a former home minister, tourist inflow to Mizoram and Nagaland, states which have the ILP regime in place, have been minimal, compared to Meghalaya. He said in 2009-10, nearly six lakh tourists visited Meghalaya while only 58,000 and 22,000 tourists visited Mizoram and Nagaland respectively during the same period.
“ILP will give us a false sense of security, just like what reservation policy has done,” Lyngdoh pointed out.