Sikkim to hold Winter Carnival in third week of December

Gangtok/New Delhi, Dec.15 : Having already been named as the best region to visit in 2014 by global travel guide Lonely Planet, Sikkim will organize the Sikkim Winter Carnival from December 22 to 24.

The three-day event is expected to attract tourists from all walks of life, as a majority of them head for popular hill destinations during Christmas and New Year's eve.

Sikkim Governor Shriniwas Patil will inaugurate the carnival on December 22 in the presence of Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, who will be the chief guest.

The Sikkim Government has spent Rs.1 crore on arrangements to ensure that the carnival is a major success, said Tourism Minister Bhim Dhungel.

The Winter Carnival is being organised in collaboration with Incredible India and various tourism and travel associations.

It is is expected to showcase the natural beauty of moutain-dominated Sikkim, besides promoting its ancient Tibetan Buddhist culture.

"The theme for this year's Winter Carnival will be the promotion of traditional culture, cuisine and organic products, " said Dhungel.

The hill state's unique and rich brand of music will also be given prominence by local artistes attired in traditional outfits.

The ethnic music nights will be organised at M.G. Marg.

"Tourists staying at various hotels during the winter season, would be specially treated to Sikkim's gastronomic delights. The food prepared by local chefs aim to deliver a royal enchanting experience," said Dhungel.

Social media and mobile devices will be utilized to provide all information to tech-savvy tourists about the Winter Carnival.

Tourists, including from West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and from abroad are expected to attend the event.

About 10 lakh tourists are expected to visit the state by the end of this year, as against the average of seven lakh tourists in previous years.

The state has set up target to generate economic activities worth Rs.1500 crores per annum by the year 2020 by attracting one lakh international tourists and 20 lakh domestic tourists to the state, said Dhungel.

The Winter Carnival will be organized at three major venues - the Kanchendzonga Shopping Complex, the Titanic Park and the Ridge Park (White Hall Garden).

In order to to diversify its economy and promote the sale of traditional handicrafts, horticulture , floriculture and organic products will be organized at the Kanchendzonga Shopping Complex to increase the potential customer base of the local community along with traditional market areas, and also to provide quality products to tourists at reasonable prices.

Sikkim's organic Temi Tea in various flavors will be prominently displayed at sales counters.

Adventure sports such as paragliding by from Ani Gumpa, mountain biking, trekking at the Bakthang Falls, and rock climbing at Sellep Tanki etc. are other attractions of the event.

The Union Ministry of Tourism has already declared Sikkim as an 'All Season Destination' and included it in its 777-day-long Himalayan State Publicity Campaign, Dhungel.

--ANI (Posted on 15-12-2013)

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