Sikkim wins National Tourism Award
Posted on Feb 18 2014 | IBNS
New Delhi, Feb 18 : Sikkim has recently been declared as the best state in the country, in the implementation of Rural Tourism Projects by the Ministry of Tourism, government of India.
Union Minister for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday presented the National Tourism Award 2012-13 to Sikkim tourism minister Bhim Dhungel in a function held at the Vigyan Bhawan here. .
According to the Union Tourism Ministry, Sikkim is the perfect destination to experience warm hospitality, rich culture and scenic splendour of natural beauty.
Sikkim Tourism Minister Bhim Dhungel said, "Chief Minister Pawan Chamling has launched an ambitious Rs 140 crore project for developing various tourism convenience facilities, view points, halting points, conferences, retiring units and other infrastructural facilities project in the state."
He said Chamling has sanctioned Rs 50 crore for setting up facilitation centers at state capital Gangtok and various other important tourist destinations of the state.
He said a total 20 facilitation center will be set up in the state for strengthening tourism facilities and noted that the capacity building, training, marketing, manpower and human resources will be strengthened under these facilitation centers.
He said, "Main facilitation center will be set up at state capital Gangtok with a total cost of Rs 40 crores while the other facilitation centers in small towns and major tourist destinations will be constructed with a cost of Rs 50 lakh on each facilitation center.
He said that all the facilitation centers will start functioning by the year 2015.
Dhungel asserted that at present around 80,000 tourist visits rural tourist destinations in the state annually and added that the target has been fixed to attract 1.50 lakh tourists to rural tourist destinations in the next five years by creating additional infrastructural facilities in the state.
He further informed, so far 500 home stay units have been registered in the state which are providing direct employment to around 1500 persons, and added that, the target has been fixed to double the home stay units and employment opportunities to 3000 persons in the next five years.
The Tourism Minister said that the state government is providing various incentives like electricity on domestic rates to these home stay units to make them economically viable and create additional beds and modern facilities for the visiting tourists in rural areas.
Dhungel noted that the state tourism department has tied up with Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujrat, Goa and Karnataka tourism for ensuring the maximum tourist flow from these states to Sikkim, and added that the state tourism department is negotiating with Nepal tourism and Bhutan tourism to ensure maximum international tourism flow from these areas to Sikkim.