Gangtok, Nov. 18
Speaking about the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Project of 28 million dollars that is likely to be implemented by the end of this financial year, Secretary, Tourism Department, SBS Bhaduria informed that the project is still in a planning stage. The agreement for the same has already been signed and this project will bring development in the tourism infrastructure of the state. This is a first of its kind which is being initiated by ADB for a period of five years in Sikkim. In the first phase of the said project connectivity would be focused. Roads would be taken up in east from Rumtek to Sajong, in west Sikkim from Tigzuk to Pelling Zero, Zero to helipad and then highway to Pemayangtse and Yuksom bazaar to helipad.
Since the project is nature adventure and culture based, three destinations have been focused – Rumtek access, Samdruptse- Chemchey- Ravangal Buddha park access and Yuksom-Singhalila Uttaray access. Apart from development of infrastructure and destination this project would even cover road, village tourism and capacity building.
Bhaduria said that the tourist inflow in the state has increased in the State as compared to the figures of last year. This year till October 597154 domestic tourists and 16485 foreign tourists have visited Sikkim. Last year a total of 17730 foreign tourists and 615628 domestic tourists came to Sikkim. When asked about the road connectivity to different destinations being disturbed due to slides and its impact on tourism, Secretary said that no such impact was faced by the Tourism department as they used the alternative route to hot destinations. Calling upon the youths to take up tourism industry as a means of livelihood he said that it is important that the locals start taking interest in tourism related activities. The allied fields like traditional jewellery making, traditional dress making also holds promise of a good career for the younger generation.