Sikkim: month long training on specialized NE guides concludes

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Gangtok: November 13, 2011

The second batch of 30 trainees from different Northeastern States including Sikkim completed a month long training on specialized guides under the North East Council sponsored capacity building programme being conducted by Travel Agents Association of Sikkim (TAAS). The programme is also supported by the Sikkim government.

The first batch had already completed a course on setting up a travel
agency; the second batch was presented with certificates and mementos by TAAS president Lukendra Rasaily and Press Club of Sikkim president Bhim Rawat during the valedictory function organized today here in Gangtok.

TAAS advisors Karma Bhutia, SK Pradhan and Jitendra Lama also participated in the certificate and memento presentation function.
Speaking on the occasion, Rasaily expressed his confidence that the participants benefitted from the training. “TAAS is working hard to convince Centre to declare Northeastern region as an ecotourism destination. The members of TAAS are ready to promote tourism in all the Northeastern States”, he said urging the participants to network among themselves for future plans.

In his welcome address, TAAS general secretary Sonam Norgay Lachungpa briefed the outgoing tourism students of Northeastern region about his organization, the apex body of tour operators in Sikkim with 271 members. We act like a liaison with the State government for promotion of tourism and lend assistance to tourists, he added.
The capacity building programme project manager, Barap Namgyal Bhutia, who is also the TAAS secretary (west) gave a presentation of the trekking guide training course which had started from October 10. A total of 38 resource persons from TAAS, Tourism Department, Forest Department, Sikkim University, Switzerland, travel agencies, Ornithological Society and Sikkim Amateur Mountaineering Association gave lectures and demonstrations to the participants.

A total of 28 theoretical classes, ten practical classes and 14 days
of outdoor activities in South, East and West districts during this course greatly benefited the participants, said Barap Namgyal. We believe that the trainees will implement and practice what they have learnt and understand that the training aims to make the entire Northeast region as the most popular and tourist friendly
destination in India, he said.

The hopes of TAAS found support from the outgoing trainees of the
Northeastern States who lavished praise on the Sikkim body for wonderful arrangements and training module. They received great hospitality during stay in Sikkim and did not feel that they are away from home, said Tarali Goswami from Assam.

“From day one we had a wonderful time and learnt a lot of new things.
Whatever we learnt here, we will not allow it to go in waste” said the trainees from Meghalaya. The participants from Nagaland spoke about their confidence in handling high altitude sickness and tourism related mishaps after participating in the course. We also learnt about the importance of keeping environment clean, they said. A special mention was also given by the trainees from Nagaland on the synergy between local media, tour operators and Sikkim government for tourism
promotion and encouraging the tourism stakeholders. This we need to follow back home in Nagaland, they added.

The TAAS presented a token of appreciation to PCS for the support given by media to tourism.



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