Gangtok, 29 Aug (IPR):Chief Minister, PS Tamang [Golay] today chaired the second day of the meeting with Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation which commenced with a session on Indian Himalayan Centre for Adventure and Ecotourism at Chemchey, by the Chief Administrator of IHCAE, D.N. Bhutia.
Mr.Bhutia informed that a centre like IHCAE is only operational in Sikkim and in Malaysia. IHCAE is the only institute in India where tourist guide training can be availed and adventure ecotourism along with leadership training is provided.
The Chief Minister suggested developing a homestay in Chemchey and to equip the youth to carry out business in the area. He also suggested building a trekking route from Chemchey to Mainam as well as a camp site.
He said that these areas have scenic natural beauty which must be highlighted as aneco-tourism destination.
The Chief Minister put forth his wish to make Chemchey an adventure sports hub.
Tourism Secretary, D. D. Bhutia gave a detailed presentation on hotels, homestay, tourist footfall, STDC and its activities, Heli Service, properties that are leased out by the department of Tourism and Civil Aviation, KailashMansarovarYatra, IHM, List of Schemes Sanctioned by the Ministry which are under works and that have been completed and Bhaleydhunga Skywalk Project.
The Chief Minister asked the Department to build a standard policy procedure for all hotels and homestays in Sikkim.He was informed that out of 1067 hotels that are registered in Sikkim only 135 pay GST, to which he asked the department to arrange a survey from all the constituencies, execute needed measures on them and asked the department choose properties and give it to deserving beneficiaries.
The Chief Minister asked the department to adopt a village or an area to build model homestay as an example for other homestays for quality outcome both from the proprietor and the guests. He assured to sanction primary supplementary fund for the development of homestays.
Further, he stated that allotment of homestays to the beneficiaries would be on the basis of progress in the sector but not on the basis of political allegiance like in the past which has led to total failure of the scheme.
He also suggested upgrading skills of local tourist guides and to provide them with a uniform.
The Chief Minister suggested revenue collection from luxury hotels that are registered within the department and to use manpower and work in co-ordination with all the departments related with tourism.
He asked the department to have proper assessment of tourist footfall which is a must to monitor security and generate revenue.
The Chief Minister asked the department to develop STDC properties at Rangpo, Bagdogra and Kolkata for proper revenue generation and increased productivity in terms of employees as well as tourism. He assured to give incentives to all the employees for their hard work and increased productivity.
The day also witnessed power point presentation 'Suggestion on Tourism Department' made by D.K.Chettri, OSD (CMO).
Other issues like Internet connectivity, enhancement of permit rates, construction of film & television Institution, Tourist Guide Institution and amendment of lease deed were discussed in the meeting.
The meeting concluded with a presentation on Idea Illustration in Sikkim Tourism for Enhancement and Upgradation of Tourism Sector in Sikkim, its Promotion and branding through use of Information &Communication Technology, byBikashBasnet.