The Assam state government plans to introduce a tourism bill in the upcoming budget session. This bill aims to establish a regulatory authority for the tourism sector, focusing on sustainable development and minimizing negative effects on the environment and local communities. It also seeks to ensure the safety and long-term viability of the tourism industry.
Tourism Minister Jayantamalla Baruah highlighted that the tourism sector has been boosted by its recognition as an industry, and the government is encouraging private investment in this area. This move is seen as beneficial for the state’s economy and job creation. The government has identified 12 tourism areas for incentives and support under Assam’s Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy.
Last year, Assam saw about 83 lakh domestic tourists, and the numbers are expected to rise. The government is undertaking several infrastructure projects to support this growth, including hotel projects with major groups like IHCL and Hyatt, a hospitality training centre with the Tata Group, and high-end tea tourism resorts in Kaziranga. An online booking system is also in the works.
Additionally, under the North Eastern Council (NEC), projects like a Buddhist destination centre in Sivasagar and a Tea Museum in Dibrugarh have been completed, and a heritage bungalow in Kaziranga is under development.
In 2022, Assam recorded 83.81 lakh domestic and 9,009 foreign tourists. By September 2023, these numbers had increased significantly, indicating a growing interest in Assam as a tourist destination.
The Tourism Department is also focusing on promoting Assam at international levels by highlighting its cultural, traditional, and religious festivals. Efforts are being made to develop Guwahati as a medical tourism hub. These initiatives are part of the government’s broader strategy to enhance and diversify the tourism sector in Assam.