Gangtok: November 29, 2011
Foreign tourists’ inflow recorded highest in the month of October 2011 to 4286. Infact it is the highest recorded during the past 7 years in Sikkim.
Tourism of north Sikkim has been considerably affected by the earthquake as the advance booking since earthquake were cancelled by the visiting tourist about 90% and as per the statistical data of Tourism and Civil Aviation Department, the inflow of domestic tourist since September has declined to maximum whereas in regards to inflow of foreign tourist increase is visible.
The data states that in the month of September- October there has been an average decrease about 45% in case of domestic tourist like wise in respect to inflow of foreign tourist during the month of October a considerable increase marking to 25% aprox is viewed, the percentage of increase or decrease is made in
comparison to 2010-11 statistical report.
The increase in inflow of foreign tourist to about 25% that is 4286 in the month of October 2011 in comparison to 2780, October 2010, the data compiled since 2005 till 2011 even shows that the inflow of foreign tourist during the month of October in state is the highest so far. While speaking to coordinator Joint Action Committee of All Sikkim Stakeholders Paljor Lachungpa in context to tourist inflow to North Sikkim since the occurrence of earthquake, he said that the advance booking that had been placed by the visiting tourist were cancelled to an extent of 90% due to which the stakeholders, transporters, tour operators were seriously hampered that too during the peak season starting from September till November this year. The visiting tourist hearing the affect of earthquake even diverted their visit to other destinations
following the safety and security measures. But the state government’s intervention especially of the Chief Minister in providing moratorium period of 1 yrs to the loanee inclusive of EMI rescheduling by requesting the bankers has made a considerable impact amongst the loanee’s like the transporters, hoteliers and tour operators to revive the loss incurred for which the committee even placed a gratitude towards the CM and the government.
Adding more he mentioned that the immediate restoration of road connectivity to North Sikkim was a huge achievement from the part of the state government following which today the tourism scenario is such that the tourist visiting state are plying to North Sikkim to a tune of 10-15 vehicles a day. Presently no problem as such exists in north Sikkim not even the basic necessity like water supply, electricity or road connectivity as the department concerned have really taken the charge of the situation.
Lachungpa adding more said that to boom tourism in north Sikkim after the earthquake the Travel Agents Association of Sikkim (TAAS) along with the Minister Tourism, Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation and local communities have even planned of organizing snow festival as an attraction to the visiting tourist along with an aim to revive tourism in north district.
Apart from that highway tunnel construction at Thang, by Border Road Organisation measuring to 600mts, foundation laying stone by the Chief Minister during his tour is also said to add a charm for the visiting tourist to north along with providing security, safety. Thang has been considered as the most fragile area and this area is a landslide prone zone added Lachungpa. Stating more he informed that presently the tour operators of state is even offering a special discount on the packages to north Sikkim destination to the visiting tourist.
Likewise the police inspector in- charge check post informed that today a total of 97 vehicles plied to major tourist destination in north and east districts whereas on 27th of November a total of 180 vehicles plied. There is no interruption along the road connecting to north Sikkim currently but Gurudongmar lake route has been closed till 30th November considering road connectivity problem.