Majuli, October 31: Come November, 2017, Majuli Island is all set for a different tourism experience. The Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) is going to launch its much ambitious sustainable tourism project titled ‘Majuli Sustainable Tourism Development Project’ (MSTDP), which will not only encourage a carbon free tourism experience in India’s largest river Island but also aims at creating an environmental protocol for tourism industry in the Island.
Thirty modern orange coloured bicycles, resembling the colour of magnificent sunset in the Island, will be launched as part of the carbon free travel experience, which will be available for rent for tourists at the Circuit House campus at Garamur in Majuli.
To be managed by Root Bridge Foundation, an NGO promoting sustainable tourism practices in northeast India, the 30 bicycles are all high quality Btwin Rockrider cycles with gear. The bicycles are lightweight and ideal for difficult terrain. Helmets and other gears will also be provided to tourists for safe ride.
To be launched on the eve of Raas festival (November 02), the MSTDP includes daily Storytelling cycle rides to different Mishing villages and Vaishnavite Satras in the island where Root Bridge storytellers will explain the stories and legends of the mystic island to the tourists.
“MSTDP is an attempt to promote carbon free travel and to bring quality tourism practices in the Island” said Jayanta Malla Barua, Chairman ATDC. The tourism project assumes significance as the Assam Government has recently announced that Majuli will be the first carbon neutral district in the country and steps have already been initiated to achieve the goal.
“ATDC is aiming to promote Majuli as a responsible tourism destination in the Northeast. We are trying to introduce quality tourism products and authentic experience along with infrastructure development. High quality homestays will be set up under the Aamaar Aalohi project and a 3 star resort in Majuli is also in the pipeline” said Managing Director of ATDC Kausar Jamil Hilaly .
“The project aims to make Majuli a center of Experiential and Transformational Travel which are the latest travel trends and cultural immersion is the key element” said Root Bridge Foundation Chairman Javed adding that they would also set up a Cycle Café at Garamur, which will be a hub of Majuli tourism. “MSTDP will be strictly following the canons of Responsible Tourism and we are trying to include women, youth and indigenous communities in tourism value chain” said Root Bridge Trustee Gayatri Baruah adding that the Café will be having a bird watching balcony where visitors can see hundreds of local and migratory birds nested in nearby area.
It may be mentioned here that Root Bridge Foundation has initiated different cultural immersion programs and capacity building programs in the tourism sector. Other than storytelling training and capacity building of the local communities, Root Bridge will also be providing bird watching training to youths of Majuli who are interested in this area. “The Forest Department has already expressed their willingness to support the training project and we will be buying high end binoculars to provide our specially trained birdwatching guides” said the Chairman of Root Bridge.
(The booking for hiring Orange Cycles and Curated Storytelling trips has already started and visitors can book their cycles in newly launched MSTDP web portal www.majulitourism.org o