CM announces ‘mega’ tourism festival Visit Sikkim 2022

Summit Report

Gangtok, 18 Jan:

Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang today announced a mega tourism festival, ‘Visit Sikkim 2022’ in a bid to further promote tourism in Sikkim. He informed that the mega tourism festival with a series of tourism activities in the State would be organized either in the month of April or October, 2022.

On the same, he stressed that the Tourism Department and Travel Agents’ Association of Sikkim [TAAS] and tourism stakeholders of Sikkim need to work hard to bring in a record number of tourists to the festival.

The CM was speaking as the chief guest at the inaugural function of ‘Capacity Building Training for Tourism Stakeholders of Sikkim’ here at Chintan Bhawan on Monday.

The capacity building programme is being sponsored by North Eastern Council, Ministry of DoNER, with the support of Government of Sikkim and is being implemented by Travel Agents’ Association of Sikkim.

Speaking on the Visit Sikkim 2022 programme, he mentioned that the State government will organize the fest in peak tourist season [April or October].

He directed the Tourism Department to work in close coordination with TAAS and other tourism stakeholders to make the festival successful.

The CM said that the State government will allocate funds for the promotion and marketing of Sikkim tourism in major cities of India to bring more tourists. He added that such training programmes of TAAS can help to bring out the best manpower in the tourism sector to provide the best service to tourists. He further urged the organizations to work continuously and assured to provide all possible support from the government.

The CM mentioned that the state government has given the responsibility of STDC Chairman to a representative of TAAS, Lukendra Rasaily this time to use the suggestions and experience of travel agents in the promotion of tourism. He added that the State government has been organizing film festivals and tourism festivals to promote Sikkim tourism but people need to take advantage of these opportunities.

The pandemic has affected tourism a lot which in turn has affected the government’s revenue stores, said the CM. He added that Sikkim was the first State in the entire north-eastern region to take the initiative to reopen the State’s borders for tourism and despite various criticism tourism resumed on 10 October last year with proper SOPs and safety guidelines.

He informed that the State has received around 3 lakh tourists from October 2020 to January 2021. The CM mentioned that the Economic Revival Committee has already submitted its report to the State government and the government is preparing to provide some relief to tourism stakeholders who were affected by the pandemic.

He stressed upon the importance of promoting village tourism in every corner of the State. On the same, he urged TAAS and tourism stakeholders to promote village tourism in every corner of the State to make tourism the backbone of Sikkim. He also stated that the government would take up mega home stay tourism in the State by building houses as per the traditional design of Bhutia, Lepcha and Nepali communities in villages.

While congratulating the people of Sikkim on the launch of Pakyong to Delhi direct flight, the CM stated that this air service to Delhi would be a milestone for the promotion of Sikkim tourism. He also mentioned that road connectivity was very important in the development of tourism in the State and the state government has already been working for better road connectivity in the State.