Tourism
State of Environment Report of Tripura for the year of 2002

The State of Tripura is endowed with natural landscape of hilly terrain, green vegetation, flowing rivers. The ethnic diversity of the state offers diverse lifestyle and culture. The tourism industry in the state could well become an organised sector with significant potentiality. The major focus of tourism in the state however was largely publicised in the area of wildlife tourism and related fields. Due to restrictive procedure regarding entry, area permit has been a major limiting factor for augmentation of tourism. This has since been lifted in 1995.

  The infrastructural support system however remains inadequate. A master-plan for tourism development can lead to a positive action but only in more peaceful socio-political environment. Major thrust area for tourism may include organised group tour to selected natural scenarios (both in the hills and in the plains, specially forest and wetland areas), ethnic culture and handicraft, and heritage sites. The provision of accommodation and boarding at affordable price, support of illustrated tourist literature and guidebook, maps are essential. Facilities for camping site and trekking could positively add to the prospect of tourism development in the state.

  Special tours may be arranged to the Handlooms and Handicraft centers, Sericulture, Rubber Plantation, Tea Plantation areas.

  The Information and Tourism directorate publicizes currently 54 important tourist spots. These includes Archaeological remains at Unakoti, Pialk Devtamura and Boxanagar, Royal Palaces, Temples and Mosques, Wetland (Rudrasagar, Dumboor lake, M.B.B. College lake, Radha Sagar, Krishna Sagar, Kamal Sagar, Mahadeb Dhigi, Jagannath Dhigi, Kalyan Sagar, Amar sagar, etc.), Wildlife Sanctuaries, tea gardens (Deawanbari in North Tripura) and one Rubber plantation (Pacharthai in North Tripura). Some of these are listed below (Table-74):

Table-74 : Tourists spots in Tripura

 

A.

Wildlife Sanctuaries

1.       

Sipahijala Wildlife Sanctuaries

West Tripura

2.       

Rowa Wildlife Sanctuaries

North Tripura

3.       

Trishna Wildlife Sanctuaries

South Tripura

B.

Lakes

4.       

Bramha Kunda lake

West Tripura

5.       

M.B.B. College lake

West Tripura

6.       

Radha Sagar

West Tripura

7.       

Krishna Sagar

West Tripura

8.       

Rudra Sagar

West Tripura

9.       

Sipahijala lake

West Tripura

10.   

Kalyan Sagar, Mahadeb Dighi

West Tripura

11.   

Jagannath Dighi, Amar sagar

South Tripura

12.   

Kamal Sagar

West Tripura

13.   

Dumboor Lake

South Tripura

C.

Palaces

14.   

Neelmahal

West Tripura

15.   

Vijantha Palace

West Tripura

16.   

Kunjaban Palace

West Tripura

D.

Temples

17.   

Jagannath Temple

West Tripura

18.   

Uma Maheswari Temple

West Tripura

19.   

Buddha Bihar

North Tripura

20.   

Bhubaneshwari Temple

South Tripura

21.   

Laxminarayan temple

West Tripura

22.   

Durga temple

West Tripura

23.   

Benu ban Bihar

West Tripura

24.   

Shiba temple

West Tripura

25.   

Kasba temple

West Tripura

26.   

Tripureswari temple

West Tripura

27.   

Gunabati group of temple

South Tripura

28.   

Mahadeb Bari

South Tripura

29.   

Buddha temple

South Tripura

The current status of the government sponsored facilities vis-à-vis total number of tourists visiting the State could be seen in Table-75 and Table-76.

Table-75 : Facilities for Tourism under Public Sector

Sl. No.

Tourist facilities

Number

Beds

1.

Tourist Lodges

8

176

2.

Tourist Cottages

2

12

3.

Yatri Nitas

2

64

4.

Yatrika

2

28

5.

Pantha Niwas

6

42

[Source: Directorate of Economics and Statistics, 1998-99]

The total number of beds in the entire public sector run facilities is 322. In addition another 40 beds are going to be commissioned very soon at different tourist centers. The number of tourists could indicate the extent of increasing demand even at the present level.

Table-76 : Tourist number in Tripura

Year

Domestic

Foreign

Total

1996-97

2,02,659

192

2,02,851

1997-98

2,36,119

806

2,36,925

1998-99

2,37,804

1194

2,38,998

1999-2000

2,40,036

1353

2,41,389

2000-2001

2,42,036

1353

2,43,389

April,01 to June,01

32,021

27

32,048

  [Source: Dept. of Information, Culture Affairs and Tourism, Govt. of Tripura, Agratala]

An upwardly mobile trend of tourism is clearly observed even in disturbed socio-political condition of the state. To cater to need of the visiting tourists one tourist information centre at Kolkata and Tourist Information Counter at Agartala and Kolkata Airport are functioning. In addition tourist information are available for the intending tourist from Tripura Bhawan at New Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati. Tourist informative materials are being published, tourism festivals are also being organised in the State to attract the attention of the visiting tourists. A separate Web Site has also been launched for propagation of tourism products. Aggressive and sustained efforts for marketing of tourism products are required. 

One of the major limitations for promotion of tourism appears to be the cost of travel from Calcutta. Though tourism has been declared as “Industry” in the State but private entrepreneurs are yet to actively associate themselves in the travel trade, which is required to be persuaded. Scope for group tourism and package may offer a better deal. At present package and conducted tours are being organised regularly by the Tourism Department to get the desire result.

To overcome the impediment of transport communication air communication between Kolkata-Agartala, Agartala-Guwahati, Agartala-New Delhi are required to be increased. The Airport in Kailashahar, North Tripura District required to be upgraded and make functional with immediate effect, so that small aricraft can operate and connect the Nprth Eastern State with Agartala. In addition at least one flight in a week in between Dhaka- Agartala be introduced to get foreign tourists from Bangladesh. If a Regional  Tourist circuits is introduced involving Bangladesh, North Eastern States including Tripura, Bagdogra, Darjeeling, Sikkim, Nepal and Bhutan is introduced then the tourism scenario in Tripura would get a tremendous boost for achieving socio-economic development through its multi plied effect.

Ecotourism to Tripura can be efficiently planned, specially under guided programme both for promotion of tourism and conservation of environment through non-consumptive practices.

Carrying Capacity & Environmental Implication of Tourism

The tourist data shows that steady increase of number of tourist visited in the State. This figure shows that the State has a prospect of tourism growth. The environmental implication of the further growth of tourism industry in the State, however need to be understand the following parameters:

·        Increased pressure on the carrying capacity of the ecosystem in each tourist locality.

·        Increased transport and construction lead to large scale deforestation and land use change.

·        Increased tourist flow leads to increase in solid waste dumping as well as depletion of water and fuel resources.

·        Flow of tourists to ecologically sensitive areas lead to destruction of rare and endangered flora and fauna due to trampling, killing, destruction of breeding habitat.

·        Noise pollution from vehicle, water pollution, vehicular emission, untreated sewage and waste, etc. will increase with additional tourist traffic.

For integrated development of tourism sector, adequate monitoring of each of the above parameters are to be ensured.

 
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