Sikkim – a role model for tourism development

Sikkim – a role model for tourism development

The Himalayan state is going the organic way and is showing the country the way to tourism development.

The landlocked state of Sikkim has emerged as a destination of choice for travellers. The recent 4th International Travel Mart, an annual event of the Union Ministry of Tourism was held in close association with the state tourism department at Saramsa Garden in Gangtok from October 14 to 16.

The three-day mart was held to showcase the tourism potential of the North-eastern states on the national as well as global tourism scene. The International Travel Mart had the participation of eight North-eastern states and West Bengal as well along with local stakeholders.

Inaugurating the travel mart, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Union Minister of State for Tourism said, “The Chief Minister of Sikkim, Dr. Pawan Chamling has a vision to develop the state in a big way. The state government has taken the initiative to make the state free from pollution, smoking and polythene. The state is all set to get its first domestic airport sometime in December, 2016.” The tourism minister also pointed out that the chief minister has harnessed the tourism potential of the state.

The Central government is bent upon to develop tourism in North-East India. The tourism minister further said, “We have to improve the highways and roadside amenities and nearly ` 19 crore has been released for the development of tourism in the state. The chief minister has reiterated that the road connectivity to the state will be overhauled. We are taking up the issue of infrastructure since we understand the enormous potential of tourism. Hospitality, safety and security and cleanliness are the three strengths of tourism. Safety and security are major issues and the state government has handled all the issues well. It is a matter of pride that there are no such incidences of communal tension in Sikkim. Peace is not only for the purpose of the masses and it begins at the global level.”

Sikkim is an ideal state in the sphere of tourism, peace, tranquility and environment and has embraced the organic path. Dr. Sharma added, “The tiny state is heading towards 100 per cent organic. The state will soon be declared as the organic state of India when the Prime Minister visits the state during the Sikkim Winter Carnival in January, 2016. The state is the eighth garland of North-East. The mission of our Prime minister is to make use of tourism as an engine of economic growth in order to address the issue of employment and earn foreign exchange reserves. We have been able to achieve 9 per cent of GDP as compared to the global level.”

The Ministry of Tourism forms 6.8 per cent of GDP. “There has been around 40 per cent rise in the arrival of global tourists in the North-east. We would utilize around Rs 1900 crore to upgrade Guwahati airport and Bagdogra airport will soon receive a makeover. Infrastructure plays a vital role on the path of tourism development and we would address the issue of infrastructure to the Union Ministry of Transport. The Central government has made an effort to launch Buddhist circuit across the country and we have recommended the inclusion of Rumtek monastery and other reputed monasteries of the state in the Buddhist circuit,” Dr. Sharma further added.

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