29th Aug 2019 (IPR): Hon’ble Chief Minister stated that the department of Tourism is a business industry and it is the most important revenue generating department in the State of Sikkim.
In the continuation of the meeting with Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation, the second day commenced with an elaborate information on Indian Himalayan Centre for Adventure and Ecotourism which is located at Chemchey, by the Chief Administrator of IHCAE, Mr. D.N. Bhutia.
Mr. Bhutia informed that a centre like IHCAE is only operational in Sikkim and in Malaysia. IHCAE located in chemchey is the only institute in India where tourist guide training can be availed and adventure ecotourism along with leadership training is provided.
The Chief Minister suggested in developing homestay in Chemchey and to equip the youths to carry out the business area.
The Chief Minister also suggested to build a trekking route from Chemchey to Mainaam and build a camp site, which will add to the tourism destination and businesses in Sikkim. He said that these areas have scenic natural beauty which must be highlighted as a Eco tourist destination.
The Chief Minister put forth his wish to make Chemchey a hub to authorise certificated to mountaineers and to implement adventure sports like bunjre jumping, cycling and trekking in the area.
Secretary, Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Mr. T. T. Bhutia gave a detailed presentation on hotels, homestay, tourist footfall, STDC and its activities, Heli Service, properties that are leased out by the department of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, IHM, List of Schemes Sanctioned by the Ministry which are under works and that have been completed and Bhaleydhunga Skywalk Project.
The Chief Minister asked the Department of Toursism to build a standard policy procedure for all the hotels and homestays in Sikkim to bring under one umbrella.
He was informed that out of 1067 hotels that are registered in Sikkim only 135 pay GST, to which he asked the department to arrange a survey report from all the constituencies, execute needed measures on them and asked the department choose properties and give it to deserving beneficiaries.
The Chief Minister asked the department to adopt a village or an area to build model homestay as an example for other homestays to implement for quality outcome both from the proprietor and the guests. He assured to sanction primary supplementary fund for the development of homestays in priority. Further, He stated that allotment of homestays to the beneficiaries would be on the basis of progress in the sector but not on the basis of political choice like in the past which has led to total failure of the scheme.
He also suggested to upskill local tourist guides and to provide them with a uniform.
The Chief Minister suggested on revenue collection from star hotels that are registered within the department and to use manpower and work in co-ordination with all the departments that affect in the tourism business of Sikkim.
He asked the department to have proper assessment on tourist footfall which is a must to monitor security and generate revenue.
The Chief Minister asked the department to develop STDC properties at Rangpo, Bagdogra and Kolkata for proper revenue generation and increased productivity in terms of employees as well as tourism business. He assured to give incentives to all the employees for their hard work and increased productivity.
The Chief Minister ensured to give priority expenditures on projects so that it does not become a liability to the State Government.
The day also witnessed power point presentation ‘Suggestion on Tourism Department’ made by D.K.Chettri, OSD(CMO).
Others issues like Internet connectivity, enhancement of permit rates, construction of film & Television Institution, Tourist Guide Institution and amendment of lease deed were discussed on the meeting.
The meeting concluded with a presentation on Idea Illustration in Sikkim Tourism for Enhancement and Up-gradation of Tourism Sector in Sikkim, it’s Promotion and branding through use of Information & Communication Technology, by My. Bikash Basnet.