Houses in Noney near Imphal, Manipur, plans to open homestays for tourists as the beautiful town is likely to get its first railway station by 2020 as recently declared by the Manipur Government.
A Saibaba, Chief Engineer, Construction of NFR said that the town has 650 households and around 6,000 people. Instead of building hotels, the idea is to promote homestays, which will help the tourists experience the local culture. The homestays will be funded by the State Government.
The footfall of foreign tourists—who come mainly from Japan and South Korea—decreased by six per cent in the recent years in Manipur. In addition to that, there was only a three-per cent growth in terms of domestic tourist arrival during the last couple of years.
According to officials, the Northeastern states attract niche tourists who prefer soft adventure, eco-tourism and luxury camping. The region is also on the wish-list of those who prefer to visit unexplored destinations.
The upcoming 110-km Jiribam-Imphal line will connect Imphal to the rest of the country through Silchar, Haflong, Lumding and Guwahati in Assam. The connectivity is expected to help transport agro-based products to the mainland easily. It will also help Manipuri products like handicrafts, bamboo, and bananas reach the other states quickly.
According to officials, the project with 137 bridges will have the tallest girder bridge in the world at 141 meters and will itself be a tourist attraction when completed.