Sikkimese youth in Guardian UK for Best travel website of 2011

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State youth gets featured in Guardian UK for “Best travel website for the year 2011”

Gangtok, 22 June 2012:

The owner of Cherry Village Home Stay Resort in Darap West Sikkim cum the President and Founder of Darap Eco-Tourism Committee (NGO), Sushil Tamang has bagged the recognisation of “Best travel website for the year 2011” in Guardian United Kingdom travel section on June 20, 2012 as one of the top ten locals in tourism in the world for his remarkable contribution towards society for local employment generation. It is learnt that such recognisation is the first in the State till date.

Earlier, Tamang has also been conferred with the State Award of Excellence for Best Tourism Development Committee -2010 by Department of Tourism, Government of Sikkim, on 27 September 2010 the occasion of World Tourism Day, Best District Youth Award 2006 by Nehru Yuva Kendra for spearheading rural tourism initiative in Sikkim and Citation from All Sikkim Educated Self Employed & Unemployed Association (ASESEUA) Sikkim in recognition to the model rural tourism promotion in Sikkim. He is also regarded as one of the ‘pioneer of village tourism’ working in the promotion and development of rural tourism in Sikkim by the office of District Collectorate/Magistrate, West Sikkim.

Tamang, who belongs from a middle class family did his schooling from Darap and Pelling in West Sikkim and pursued his graduation from St. Joseph’s College in Darjeeling. Soon after the completion of his graduation he started with home stays tourism at Darap, just 6 kms away from the world tourist destination Pelling.

Speaking to Sikkim Mail, the 28 year old feels that the concept of village tourism in Sikkim would be possible if people from all classes in economic activities are involved. Village tourism has the power to help the villagers to get rid of poverty, he added.

Tamang, who also holds the degree of MBA (HR), said that his dream is to promote and develop Darap Village into village Tourism destination which today has been realized and has generated wide range of employment opportunities and have greatly supported livelihood of many families in the village.

“Father of Home Stay Tourism tag should rather be conferred to our Chief Minister Shri PK Chamling, who has provided dynamic leadership to our State for promotion and development of tourism by creating congenial atmosphere for its growth and development”, expressed Tamang when asked about been titled as the same in the State by the Chief Minister.

Highlighting the genuine youth participation in the field, Tamang said that youth unemployment presents a significant challenge and future forecast demonstrates the need for an immediate, robust and coordinated response. “Creation of Sikkim as heaven on Earth rests on us.  We do not have to be tied to our negative thoughts. We should rather be tied to our potential and work towards fulfilling them”, he stated.  Youths have the potential to take Sikkim to greater heights and a great way to kick start this is by united efforts. Someone has rightly pointed out that “Youths are the Country”, which means youths have enough potential to lead country in whatever ways we want. Outcome is how hard you try with efficiency; there is no short cut to success, he added. “What we dreamt of, what we strived for, what we did yesterday is what Darap is today”, asserted Tamang.

Stressing more on tourism he said that the Government must regulate certain standards to make this concept sustainable. Streamline Standard Operating Procedures, Legal entity and classification of Home stays, Carrying Capacity, certification of home stay, training and capacity building of the stakeholders etc must put in place with efficiency. Government should meet expectations of unemployed youth (especially in rural areas) for employment opportunities in the tourism sector. Guidelines by the Tourism Department to make it mandatory to practice, he concluded.



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