SUDDEN RUSH OF TOURISTS IN SIKKIM AS UNREST SPREADS IN DARJEELING

June 16, 2017

 

Gangtok, 15 Jun:

As unrest and violence engulfs districts of Darjeeling and Kalimpong, Sikkim has seen a sudden rush of tourists even as this tourist season is nearing its end.

Rupali Singh, from Gujarat along with her family of four had planned for a holiday to Darjeeling. Following the unrest, they immediately canceled their tickets and booked for Gangtok.

“This was the best possible decision for us and availability of accommodation was also not a problem,” she says.

Similarly, Santu Ghosh, a young biker riding from Kolkata to Darjeeling also took a different route after hearing the news of the turmoil in Darjeeling.

“I am glad I came to Gangtok. Now Darjeeling is off the radar. I will now head towards North Sikkim,” he shared.

The sudden flow of tourists has given the local taxi and tourist cabs a fresh lease of life.

Dawa Tamang, a taxi driver in the capital said, “I am getting a lot of clients now. This is not the peak season but the problem in the neighbourhood has indirectly affected us in a good way.”

Another taxi driver, Kumar Rai, was of the opinion that tourists are arriving at the end of season not only due to the political crisis but also as a “compensation trip” by tour operators for those who missed their Darjeeling or Kalimpong trips due to the ongoing crisis.

Since the tourist season in the state was already waning, the easy availability of accommodation in hotels and lodges has meant fresh bookings.

Hotelier, Tshering Bhutia, stated that bookings are full which usually is not the case at this time of the year.

Similarly, tour and travel operators are getting many queries after violence erupted in Darjeeling.

“This was quite sudden and to us a pleasant surprise,” said Priya Mangar, a young tour operator in the capital.

Emerging media reports have also suggested a record footfall in the Bagdogra Airport with almost all tourists heading towards Sikkim.

Gangtok, 15 Jun:

As unrest and violence engulfs districts of Darjeeling and Kalimpong, Sikkim has seen a sudden rush of tourists even as this tourist season is nearing its end.

Rupali Singh, from Gujarat along with her family of four had planned for a holiday to Darjeeling. Following the unrest, they immediately canceled their tickets and booked for Gangtok.

“This was the best possible decision for us and availability of accommodation was also not a problem,” she says.

Similarly, Santu Ghosh, a young biker riding from Kolkata to Darjeeling also took a different route after hearing the news of the turmoil in Darjeeling.

“I am glad I came to Gangtok. Now Darjeeling is off the radar. I will now head towards North Sikkim,” he shared.

The sudden flow of tourists has given the local taxi and tourist cabs a fresh lease of life.

Dawa Tamang, a taxi driver in the capital said, “I am getting a lot of clients now. This is not the peak season but the problem in the neighbourhood has indirectly affected us in a good way.”

Another taxi driver, Kumar Rai, was of the opinion that tourists are arriving at the end of season not only due to the political crisis but also as a “compensation trip” by tour operators for those who missed their Darjeeling or Kalimpong trips due to the ongoing crisis.

Since the tourist season in the state was already waning, the easy availability of accommodation in hotels and lodges has meant fresh bookings.

Hotelier, Tshering Bhutia, stated that bookings are full which usually is not the case at this time of the year.

Similarly, tour and travel operators are getting many queries after violence erupted in Darjeeling.

“This was quite sudden and to us a pleasant surprise,” said Priya Mangar, a young tour operator in the capital.

Emerging media reports have also suggested a record footfall in the Bagdogra Airport with almost all tourists heading towards Sikkim.

 

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