GANGTOK, 01 Jun:
Secretary to Tourism and Civil Aviation Department, CP Dhakal has appealed to all tourism stakeholders of Sikkim to work responsibly and sincerely for the sustainability of the blooming tourism sector in the State. He stated that the rise of tourist footfall in Sikkim this year has also created some problems so there was need for everyone to work together responsibly to address these issues for sustainable tourism in Sikkim.
Addressing a press conference here this afternoon, Mr Dhakal stated that the recognition of Sikkim tourism in national and international levels and the hospitality of Sikkimese people has been attracting tourists in Sikkim from across the globe. However, the increase in the footfall of tourists in Sikkim has also created problems of unavailability of taxis, overcharging by hotels and taxis, tourist permit and others.
On the same, the Secretary informed that the department recently held meetings with Police Department and tourism stakeholders in Sikkim to discuss these issues and tourist complaints. He informed that the Police has started checking vehicles for overcharging and other issues and Transport Department has already provided 10 buses to ply between Gangtok to Ranipool for the convenience of local people. The Department has also requested the Army to increase the number of permits for tourists to visit Nathula. It is informed that presently 75 permits are being given daily for Nathula.
Mr Dhakal urged Gangtok Municipal Corporation to start checking hotels for overcharging as it falls under their jurisdiction and Health Department to check the cleanliness and hygiene of hotels. He informed that the Home Ministry has also lifted the Protected Area Permit and Restricted Area Permit for North Sikkim which may help to further increase the inflow of foreign tourists. He further added that the State Tourism Policy is also ready and will be placed in the upcoming cabinet meeting scheduled to be held on 04 June.
Finally, the Secretary urged everyone in the State to cooperate and to work responsibly for the sustainability of tourism in the State.