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Nagaland promotes Off-Road Tourism as Way to generate 100 crore in revenue

The Nagaland government has been inspired by Sturgis, a city in South Dakota, to turn the state’s rugged terrain and bad roads into an off-road business model that, officials say, has the potential to generate Rs 100 crore in annual revenue once it hits the roads.

The state government has devised a plan to promote off-roading, a sport that entails driving or riding a vehicle on unsurfaced roads or tracks made of sand, gravel, riverbeds, mud, snow, rocks, and other natural terrain.

“We want to make Nagaland the world’s off-road capital.” A 10-day motorcycle festival in Sturgis, South Dakota, generates $800 million in revenue and supports the livelihoods of 10,000 people.

“We’re going to do something similar here.” We have good off-roading roads and don’t require much in the way of infrastructure. All that is required is the development of village capacities. On the sidelines of the International Tourism Mart in Kohima, I Kitto Zhimomi, commissioner and secretary tourism, said, “Once it’s operational, it has the potential to generate Rs 100 crore revenue annually.”

While the concept is in the works, a group of ten people took part in a 10-day off-roading expedition in the state’s interiors in September, thanks to a collaboration with Google to map out the routes that can be used and Wander Beyond Boundaries curating the circuits.

“They spent around Rs 20 lakh on an off-roading trip for a group of ten people.” All we have to do now is focus on village homesteads and raise funds for clean toilets and linens. We don’t want to sell a lot of tickets; we want the niche traveller to come and experience off-roading,” said Zhimomi, who has also published a coffee book about his concept. He also stated that the plan is to have around ten of these circuits for each of the 13 districts.

During the Hornbill Festival in 2016, Nagaland, which is currently hosting the 9th edition of the International Tourism Mart organised by the Ministry of Tourism, saw over 1.12 lakh tourists. During the event in 2019, 2.82 lakh people visited the state, including 3,015 foreigners.

The festival was held almost a year ago, in the midst of a nationwide outbreak of COVID-19. The event will begin on December 1st this year.

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