This gradual growth in Tourism was compounded by agitations from various NGOs: TOAM

Shillong, Nov 28: The Tour Operators Association of Meghalaya (TOAM) representing a substantial numbers of tourism stakeholders in Meghalaya is downhearted and deeply saddened on taking cognizance of the barbarous act which has led to the loss of innocent lives at Mukroh village, West Jaintia Hills on the 22nd November 2022.

The association and all its members extend heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and pray that the Almighty grant them peace and solace at this time of grief and sorrow.

The association understands that the repercussions of this incident has led to strong emotions being felt by all communities and acknowledge these feelings yet at the same time we humbly appeal to all residents of our beautiful State to maintain peace and tranquility.

The Stakeholders of Tourism in ‘Mesmerising Meghalaya’, through years of concentrated efforts have built on the tourism scene in the State which has led to the upliftment in the livelihood of many Meghalayans who would have otherwise been in abject poverty.

Tourism in the State of Meghalaya is a seasonal activity with a peak period that lasts for only 6 to 7 months in a year with majority of all tourism activities is concentrated in the rural areas of the State.

Two years of COVID had greatly affected the lives of many who depend on the tourist trade, and many were elated when restrictions were lifted and life crept back to normal towards the end of 2021.

This gradual growth however was compounded by persistent challenges in the form of agitations from various NGOs and Pressure Groups from within our own State, but our own people.

This is to expression of their fundamental right to express their resentment to certain limitations and problems on the part of the Governance in the State, resort to acts of aggression in the form of violence and hostility to others, which at times are guests and visitors to our State.

These incidents show our State in bad light where the very act of democracy is construed into a hostile act. The knock on effects of these incidents has led to a major loss of revenue to those from within our own community who depend on the income generated from tourist activities.

It also leads to the discouragement of otherwise enterprising youths from setting up tourism businesses as the risks involved can be too high. The association would like to express their solidarity in positive changes for the State but that the movement towards change should not be at the cost of our State being labeled a rogue State, condoning violence and disruption to normal life, as the only means towards an end.

The TOAM  therefore humbly appeal to all our fellow brethren, who themselves have united for a cause, to work along the principles of harmony, fellowship, empathy and togetherness towards the betterment of our State.


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