Sikkim CM PS Golay
Sikkim CM PS Golay. | File image Credit: EastMojo image

GANGTOK: ‘Visit Sikkim 2022’, a declaration on year-long tourism promotion and marketing for Sikkim, was declared by Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay on Monday. The CM laid focus on having tourists in Sikkim for the whole year, instead of otherwise practised season-based tourism endeavour.

Extending support for various tourism stakeholders while keeping in mind the loss bore by them amidst the COVID 19 pandemic. The CM asserted working with the State Tourism Department and Travel Agents Association of Sikkim to chalk out a plan for the year-long tourism activities in 2022.

He was speaking to the media at the inaugural function of Capacity Building Training for Tourism Stakeholders of Sikkim at Chintan Bhawan in Gangtok. The Chief Minister also announced for flight operations to begin from Pakyong airport from January 23.

He highlighted that the tourism industry should focus on rural tourism where tourists should visit and experience rural, agricultural and traditional Sikkim. “Since the unlocking phase, tourism in Sikkim is gradually picking up its pace, which is positive for the industry. The state government would help the tourism industry in every way possible. Also, Budget will be allocated for the promotional and marketing of Sikkim Tourism in major cities of India”, stated Golay.

TAAS President Norgay Lachungpa welcomed the announcement by the CM. “This will be a grant event in 2022 for which government and organization will work together to frame the plan. It is an attempt at rebuilding the tourism sector with aggressive marketing of Sikkim tourism. Besides health and education, the Chief Minister has stressed on tourism promotion and marketing of Sikkim. Now we will start promoting Visit Sikkim 2022, which will have a series of tourism promotion events. It will be a showcase for tourism.”

Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation Chairman Lukendra Rasaily focussed on how COVID-19 pandemic shattered the state’s tourism industry. “The road is still not clear where the congregation of tourists cannot happen. The stakeholders have suffered a lot. We have been successful at beholding the pandemic from spreading, hence, people are looking to visit Sikkim. Hence, the focus will be on quality tourism with required infrastructure being developed by 2022 with nature and culture promotion at an international platform”.

On the budgetary allocation as announced by CM for tourism stakeholders, Rasaily highlighted how they used to get a measly Rs. 1000 for tourism promotion in the past. He also stressed on promotion through films and media, with more involvement of local homegrown private promoters. “There is a younger lot who have excelled in printing, filming, and even mass communication who can work on the promotion and marketing of Sikkim Tourism. The focus of the government will be on the same, to ensure local employment. Earlier, for such promotion, people had to be brought from outside the State. A committee will be formed to steer the tourism industry with further discussion with the Tourism Minister Bedu Singh Panth, following which comprehensive steps would be taken for Visit Sikkim 2022”.

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