Union Tourism Minister, Dr. K Chiranjeevi, Uttarakhand Tourism Minister, Amrita Rawat and Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Minister, GA Mir were also present on the occasion. The ‘Incredible India Himalayas’ campaign is aimed at attracting both national and international travellers. Its launch today coincides with World Tourism Day.
The objective of the campaign is to spread awareness about the fact that 73 percent of the Himalayan range lies in India. The Indian Himalayas are an incredible tourism product that can attract both domestic and international tourists interested in adventure activities, the flora and fauna of The Himalaya and the Himalayan culture.
A press release from the Principal Resident Commissioner, Sikkim House, informs that during the launch today organized by the Ministry of Tourism, Mr. Dhungel said that economic activities worth Rs 1 crore was recorded under tourism trade in the year 1980 which increased to Rs 75 crore in the year 2000 and Rs 400 crore in the year 2010. Now the state hopes to generate economic activities worth Rs 1500 crore by the year 2020. The state also aims at attracting one lakh international tourists and 20 lakh domestic tourists by the year 2020.
The Minister informed that 12,862 domestic and 2,572 international tourists visited the state in the year 1980 which increased to 1,70,160 domestic and 8,794 International tourists in the year 2000 and added that 7,00,011 domestic and 20,757 international tourists visited the state in the year 2010.
“The Sikkim government has decided to promote tourism activities by opening more areas for domestic and foreign tourists, opening new trekking routes, crafting and enhancing major tourist circuits and undertaking aggressive marketing at global markets. Buddhist circuits are being developed to promote religious tourism in the state. Sikkim will be developed as the principal Tourism destination in South and South-East Asia by the year 2015”, said Mr Dhungel.
Speaking on infrastructure related to tourism, he said that the state government has opened various institutes like The Institute of Hotel Management, Sajong, The Food Craft Institute, Namchi, Indian Himalayan Centre for Adventure & Eco-tourism, Chemchey.
“The government has set up Sikkim Eco-tourism Directorate to give top priority to eco-tourism in the state and an eco-tourism co-operative network has been established under the Sikkim Eco-Tourism Council. Tourism has been accorded the status of ‘Thrust Sector’ in the state for the industry’s growth and ensure overall socio-economic development in the state”, informed Mr Dhungel.
He further added that Sikkim will be promoted as the ultimate eco-tourism destination in the country and the home stay scheme has been launched in the state for providing clean and hygienic facilities to tourists.
“The state’s different communities with their diverse customs, culture, traditions, cuisine, fairs and festivals offer a unique experience to the visitors. Events like Youth Adventure Festival, International Mountain Biking Expedition, International Para Gliding Festivals are also being organized to promote adventurous tourism in the state”, the Minister added.