Lonely Planet names Sikkim as top region to visit in 2014

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Travel guide notes organic farming as the new mantra in Sikkim

GANGTOK, October 30, 2013

Sikkim has been named as the best region to visit in 2014 by a leading global travel guide Lonely Planet, with Brazil emerging as the top destination in terms of countries.

The land of mountains and monasteries was chosen as the best region to go to, with Paris the top city in a list that also included Cape Town, Shanghai and Chicago, while the Greek Islands were seen as

the best-value destination.

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014 has a list of top 10 destinations in different categories such as best countries to visit, best regions to visit, best cities to visit and other guiding lists for travel next year.

As per the travel guide, Sikkim has after picking up national accolades in 2012 for being India’s cleanest State with the most innovative tourism project, set new benchmarks for responsible travel in the country.

“Checkbox sightseeing has rapidly made way for sustainable community-based tourism in less developed areas, while eco-friendly policies have lent new vigour to the virginal Himalayan wilderness that drapes the region’s mountains,” said the Melbourne-based guide book publisher.

Lonely Planet has also praised Sikkimese cuisine. It notes that organic farming is the new mantra in Sikkim and is being promoted in a big way.

Sikkim, it may be added here, had bagged the Most Innovative and Unique Tourism Project Award

2010-11 for the vision and construction of world class Pilgrimage cum Cultural Tourism Complex (Siddesvara Dham) at Solophok, Namchi in South Sikkim. It had also bagged the Best State in Campaign Clean India 2010-11 award for the State government’s initiatives in maintaining a clean and green Sikkim, efficient garbage management and disposal, health and hygiene, green mission and maintaining the environment and biodiversity of the state.

Speaking to SIKKIM EXPRESS, Tourism additional secretary Namrata Thapa said the inclusion of

Sikkim in the international travel magazine as must visit tourist region is a dream come true for the department and can at the same be claimed as the greatest achievement. This achievement, she added was due to the vision, guidance and support extended by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling. “It was under his guidance that the home stay and village tourism in the State was introduced, much loved by foreign visitors,” she added.

She further said that the collective effort of the State government, tourism stakeholders and the people of Sikkim has a whole has fostered a tourist-friendly place.

The officer added that with this recognition, the State should now gear up to fully receive international tourist footfall in days ahead.

“It is also time for the department to gear up in presenting various tourism products available in the State to the visitors in the most alluring manner.”

The guide pointed out that in 2014 with the scheduled opening of airport at Pakyong, near Gangtok, several hours of transit time will be cut and one could fly in directly from major Indian metros.

Published this week, Lonely Planet’s ninth annual roundup of best destinations around the world for the upcoming year, reports said, was based on “scores for topicality, excitement and that special x-factor,” as determined by their inhouse experts and outside writers.

Meantime, the Kimberly region in Australia came in second after Sikkim in the list of best destinations to visit in 2014 in terms of regions.

As per reports, the list included other regions of great natural beauty and splendour such as Yorksire

in the UK, Hokuriku in Japan, Texas in the US, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Zambia, Mallorca in

Spain, West Coast in New Zealand, Hunan in China and Ha’apai in Tonga. In terms of countries, Brazil topped the list of best destinations to visit in 2014.

Antarctica and Scotland were also named in the top three.

Other countries to make it to the top ten were Sweden, Malawi, Mexico, Seychelles, Belgium, Macedonia and Malaysia.

(Courtesy: Sikkim Express / Kunal Rai)


Si Langit

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