Gyalshing, 26 Sept (IPR): Inauguration of two-daylong World Tourism Day celebration organized on the theme ‘Tourism and Digital Transformation’ commenced at Pelling Senior Secondary School ground in West Sikkim. The event is organized by West Sikkim Tourism Society in coordination with District Administration (West), Tourism Department, Government of Sikkim, Pelling Tourism Development Society and various tourism stakeholders of West Sikkim.
Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Shri Ugen Gyatso Bhutia, inaugurated the function as chief guest with Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha), Shri P.D. Rai, as special guest.
Minister, Shri N.K. Subba, MLA, Ms Chandra Maya Subba, Special Secretary (Tourism), Ms. Namrata Thapa, D.C. (West), Dr. A.B. Karki, S.P. West, representatives from different travel agencies from around the country and tourism stakeholders were also present in the first day of event.
The highlight of the event was panel discussion held on different aspects of tourism industry and scopes of tourism in Sikkim. The experts also the representatives of popular travel agencies such as Make My Trip, Booking.com, Yatra.com and heads of well-known chains of hotels of India presented their distinct views and ideas regarding promotions and development of tourism in the State of Sikkim through effective activities based on tourism with participation of people in fruitful way. The panelists shared that Sikkim could capitalize on its natural beauty, rich cultural heritage and its serene environment for development of tourism in the State.
Shri P.D. Rai in his brief address stated that he learnt a lot from penal discussion regarding mechanism related to tourism and he expressed the need of comprehensive work to be done on development of sustainable tourism through involvement of people in progressive way. He expressed that an easy means of livelihood could be created through tourism sector. He also mentioned the necessity of technologies for making tourism a global venture. He added that State’s sustainable tourism goal could be achieved when all mechanisms work in tandem to propel the tourism sector of the State.
National head of Yatra.com, Mr Adarsh Jha, expressed that promotion of tourism depends upon technological assistance and active involvement of people. He added that availability of well-connected tourism network help to propel the tourism prospects of any State in the country.
Mr Ugen Chopel from Chumbi Group of hotels mentioned that in spite of having won national and international accolades in tourism sector, Sikkim has failed to take advantages of such accolades to take the sector to a newer level.
Stressing on the need of promotion of Sikkim with a distinct catch line in tourism sector to ensure uniqueness of the State, Mr Chopel said that catch line adopted by other States of the country have become effective in terms of promotion and propagation of tourism. He further spoke about need of popularizing traditional food items, products and distinct cultural heritage of Sikkim for propagation of State’s tourism sector.
Other expert panelists opined that provision of proper transport network, availability of hotels and home-stays with proper hospitality management are key factors that contribute towards development of tourism. The panelist also expressed that tourism industry could act as a gateway to employment opportunities for people if the industry is managed in proper way.
Speaking about technical necessity for making tourism industry far reaching and advantageous to people, the panelists expressed that advancement of technologies have contributed a lot for development of tourism industry and acquiring knowledge about technologies have become essential for the people working in the industry. They also spoke about efficiency of technology to cater the service related to tourism in easy and prompt way.
The panelists answered different questions raised by individuals involved with tourism in relation to issues pertaining to tourism sector.
At the outset, president of organizing committee, Sushil Tamang, speaking about objective of World Tourism Day celebration informed that effort is on for making the celebratory event informative and constructive for the tourism stakeholders of State. He added that in order to make tourism a prosperous sector, activities based on tourism is most needed.
Organizing committee felicitated Minister Mr N.K. Subba and M.P. Lok Sabha Mr P.D. Rai and awarded persons involved with tourism sector and other personalities for their contributions towards the society.