World Bank Group

Preparation of a Strategic Action Plan for Strengthening Tourism Enterprises in North East India: Gender Approach

 

Partner/Client
Swiss Contact

Sector
Development Consultancy

Location
North East India (Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland) 

Key Highlights

  • Women-owned enterprises accounted for 42% of the tourism enterprises covered in the Enterprise Survey. A majority of entrepreneurs (68% male, 66% female) were between 31 and 40 years of age.
  • 69% of the enterprise have temporarily or permanently closed operations due to challenges relating to the Covid-19 pandemic and government lockdown mandates.
  • A high need is also felt among entrepreneurs on getting advice related to business continuity planning and diversification of products and services to improve their enterprises’ profitability, to adjust to the realities of Covid-19.
  • Transport and digital access were the main external factors which affected operations and should be prioritised to improve tourism development in NER

The consultancy resulted in a robust analytical foundation which informs the development of support for tourism MSMEs and entrepreneurs in NER.

The objectives of the consultancy were threefold: (i) To identify opportunities and challenges faced by Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and women entrepreneurs within localized nature-based and related tourism supply chains in Indian North East States (NES) (ii) To develop a strategy with recommendations to address these in two or more destinations (iii) To conduct a pilot implementation of some of the recommendations in the identified location(s). The Action Plan was developed using results from the field-based baseline study and enterprise survey analysis in selected NER destinations. The objective of the action plan is to upgrade the overall competitiveness of the tourism value chains in the NER, putting an emphasis on women and community led activities.

Research Tools

01 Strategic Visitor Flow (SVF) framework
02 Value Chain Analysis
03 Semi-structured interviews

Approach

The project was divided into five major phases: The inception phase, which resulted in state and destination selection. The baseline study entailed an on-ground assessment of destinations and resulted in shortlisting of focus destinations, tourism market segments and value chain segments. The enterprise survey conducted with over 200 entrepreneurs focused on further understanding how tourism enterprises in NER can be strengthened by adopting a gender approach, within the Covid-19 context. The strategy and action planning stage resulted in evidence-based conclusions and provided an actionable way forward to upgrade the overall competitiveness of tourism value chains. Pilot actions were then taken up for implementation, focusing on select enterprises and geographies, to provide proof-of-concept.