Meghalaya’s tourism is attributed to its unique natural beauty, magnificent landscapes, pleasant weather, and indigenous culture. Considering that the state is gaining prominence as a favorable tourist destination, the government has identified tourism as one of the major driving sectors of economic growth. The footfalls have grown steadily over the last decade and are once again witnessing a resurgence post the COVID pandemic. In 2019, the tourist footfall in the state was about 12.7 lakhs and is estimated that the annual tourist footfall will cross 15 lakhs by 2024.
Various government led initiatives in the tourism sector such as ongoing development of infrastructure, enhancing accessibility, and government-led promotional efforts are playing significant role in elevating Meghalaya’s image as tourism as sought-after tourist spot. One such initiative is the “Prime Tourism Vehicle Scheme” which was designed keeping in view to increase footfall of high value tourists in the state by mitigating the gap of lack of options for tourists to travel comfortably. Through the scheme the government has provided financial aid to 47 beneficiaries to buy 8-seater multi utility vehicles along with capacity building training for the operators and drivers at a total investment of 5.96 crores. Under this scheme, 50% of the price of the vehicle, including the total interest charged by the bank on the bank loan, as financial aid in the form of 45% as upfront capital subsidy and 5% as EMI co-payment operational subsidy, was provided to entrepreneurs.
Apart from the conventional tourism, Meghalaya also has immense potential in adventure tourism which includes activities such as caving, rock climbing, paragliding, zip lining, kayaking, river rafting, trekking etc. Over the years the state has become a preferred destination for activities like caving, rafting, kayaking among the adventure seekers from across the globe. Keeping this in view the state government intends to promote adventure tourism in the state together with conventional tourism. However, based on the discussions with various stakeholders associated with adventure tourism, it was understood that infrastructural gap especially with the transportation of tourists and adventure gears in the last mile is a major barrier to the growth of adventure tourism in Meghalaya.
Therefore, to promote adventure tourism and to further strengthen the fleet of luxury vehicles in the state, the government has decided to launch of the second phase of the Prime tourism vehicle scheme. Through this scheme, government intends to support the entrepreneurs to buy vehicles from range of choices which includes 8-seater to 17-seater luxury passenger vehicles and vehicles with off roading capability as well as additional support such as capacity building training.
Objectives of the scheme
- Economic growth of the state:
PRIME tourism vehicle is envisaged to bring economic growth to the state through encouraging youths to engage in economic generation activities in tourism and other sectors which are indirectly connected to tourism such as agriculture, handicrafts, food, and hospitality industry etc. Tourism brings revenue to the state through spendings by tourists on food, accommodation, transportation and buying locally produced products as souvenirs etc.
- Increase entrepreneurship:
Along with the entrepreneurship being promoted in tourism transportation sector through the scheme, overall development of the sector will encourage small businesses such as restaurants, souvenir shops and entertainment.
- Increase availability of tourist vehicles in the state
The increase in the number of options for the vehicle will be ensured through introduction of the scheme.
- Promote adventure tourism in the state
By providing solutions to infrastructural gap related to transportation of adventure tourists and gears to the remote locations, the scheme is envisaged to promote adventure tourism in the state.
To provide tourists with well-trained and well-equipped drivers who can also act as their tourist guide
- Create livelihood opportunities.
Boosting tourism in the state will create jobs in variety of sectors such as hospitality, transportation, restaurants, and entertainment. This can reduce unemployment and stimulate local economics.
||50% financial aid on the on-road cost of the vehicle to selected entrepreneurs involved in the tourism sector and additional support such as trainings and capacity building programs.
|Who can apply?
- Individual entrepreneurs from Meghalaya
- Any registered entities from Meghalaya such as tour operators/travel agents/tourist transport operatorsetc. registered as well as recognized with Department of Tourism, Government of Meghalaya.
- Any unregistered but recognized entities such as SHGs, Village Organizations, traditional institutions etc. involved with tourism sector.
Applications shall not be ordinarily considered for the following
- Following individuals (currently employed as full-fledged or contractual, or retired and drawing pension) and their Immediate family members which includes spouse, parents, and children up to the age of 30
- state and central Government employees
- employees of public sector undertakings, subsidiaries of public sector undertakings and divisions of public sector undertakings etc.
- any individual whose job is concerned with politics such MLAs, MLCs, MPs etc. or seeking to hold a similar position in government
- registered class-1 contractors
- consultants who are currently engaged with state or central government
- Only one member from a family is eligible for the scheme.
- Pressure groups and organizations that are primarily political in nature.
|Nodal Department for the CM’s Elevate Program
||Planning, Investment Promotion & Sustainable Development Department
|Nodal Department for the scheme
||Government of Meghalaya
|Partner banks for credit support
1. Meghalaya Rural Bank (MRB)
2. The Meghalaya Co-Operative Apex Bank Ltd (MCAB)
3. State Bank of India (SBI)
4. HDFC Bank
5. Northeast Small Finance Bank
6. The Shillong Co-operative Urban Bank Ltd.
Vehicle models offered under the scheme:
Based on the various requirements in the tourism sector, the following types of vehicles have been offered for the entrepreneurs to buy.
- The entrepreneurs can opt for any vehicle from the list based on their need.
- However, justifications for the same needed to be provided in the application form.
- Additionally, the evaluation committee may also guide the entrepreneurs to buy a vehicle from a different category based on the evaluation of the requirements with respect to the entrepreneur’s location
||Vehicle Type & transmission
||Toyota Innova Crysta 2.4 GX(8S) MT Diesel
||Mahindra Scorpio N Z4 DMT 4WD
||7-seater passenger (4×4)
||Maruti Jimny Alpha manual AWD
||5-seater passenger (4X4)
||Mahindra Bolero Camper 4WD
||5-Seater Pickup Truck(4X4)
||Force Traveller 13D AC Reclining Seat
||Force Traveller 17 D AC non-reclining seat
||Force Traveller 12d Reclining Seat
||Force Urbania 10d
||Force Urbania 12d
||Force Urbania 17d
- Ex-showroom prices may vary based on the decisions of the manufacturers
- Ex-showroom prices do not include other components of on-road cost of the vehicle such as registration, insurance etc.