Carbon-free tourism initiative in Majuli from this week
The Assam Tourism Development Corporation(ATDC) will launch the ?Majuli Sustainable Tourism Development Project? (MSTDP) this week to encourage carbon-free tourism experience in the countrys largest river island.
The project will be launched on November two and feature daily cycle rides to different Mishing villages and Vaishnavite Satras in the island where trained storytellers will narrate the history, tales and legends of the mystic island to the tourists, ATDC Chairman Jayanta Malla Baruah said.
The Mishing tribesmen are Vaishnavites who are followers of Lord Krishna and comprise 60 per cent of the population in Majuli.
Storytelling is the key element of the eco-friendly tourism project. It aims at taking tourists through a virtual tour of culture, folk literature, art and craft and the society as a whole.
"Thirty cycles painted orange - the colour of sunset will be launched as part of the carbon-free travel experience at Majuli and also create an environmental protocol for tourism industry in the island," he said.
There will be different cycle tourism activities like tours for students and only women tours where the visitors can experience authentic village life and learn about Sattriya culture, he said.
"The project also envisages different levels of interventions consisting of capacity building programmes and catalyst funding for women and indigenous communities who are working in the field of art and craft", Baruah said.
The 30 cycles are high quality Btwin Rockrider cycles with gear, are light weight and ideal for difficult terrain. They will be available on rent for the tourists at Majuli. Helmets and other gears will also be provided to the visitors for their safe ride.
ATDC is aiming to promote Majuli as a "responsible" tourism destination in the northeastern region. "We are trying to introduce quality tourism products and the entire programme is designed in a way that the benefit of tourism will be shared with host communities," he said.
The MSTDP will be managed by Root Bridge Foundation, an NGO promoting sustainable tourism practices in northeast India.
"The project aims to make Majuli a centre of experiential and transformational travel, which are the latest travel trends and cultural immersion is the key element," Root Bridge Foundation Chairman, Javed said.
Experiential travel, also known as immersion travel, is a form of tourism in which people focus on experiencing a country, city or particular place by connecting to its history, people and culture.
The Assam government had recently announced that Majuli will be the first carbon neutral district in the country and steps have been initiated to achieve the goal.