Sikkim gets National Tourism Award 2012-13

Guwahati: Tiny state of Sikkim has been declared as best state in the country in implementation of Rural Tourism Projects by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. Union Minister for Human Resource Development Dr. Shashi Tharoor, presented the National Tourism Award 2012-13 to Sikkim tourism minister Bhim Dhungel in a function in Vigyan Bhawan New Delhi on Tuesday.
According to union tourism ministry Sikkim is the perfect destination to experience warm hospitality ,rich culture and scenic splendour of natural beauty. Sikkim tourism Minister Bhim Dhungel said that Chief Minister Pawan Chamling had launched an ambitious Rs 140 crore project for developing various tourism convenience facilities, view points, halting points, conferences-retiring units and other infrastructure facilities in the state .
Rs 50 crore was sanctioned for setting up facilitation centres at state capital Gangtok and various other important tourist destinations of the state.
Total 20 facilitation centres will be set up in the state for strengthening tourism facilities while capacity building, training , marketing, manpower and human resources will be strengthened under these facilitation centres .
The tourism minister said that main facilitation centre would be set up at state capital Gangtok with total cost of Rs 40 crores while the other facilitation centres at small towns and major tourist destinations would be constructed with a cost of Rs 50 lakh on each facilitation centre.
All the facilitation centres will start functioning by the year 2015.
At present around 80,000 tourists visit rural tourists destinations in the state annually and the target has been fixed to attract 1.50 lakh tourist to rural tourist destinations in next five years by creating additional infrastructural facilities in the state .
The minister informed that so far 500 home stay units have been registered in the state which are providing direct employment to around 1500 persons and added that target has been fixed to double the home stay units and employment opportunities to 3000 persons in the next five years.
He said that state govt is providing various incentives like electricity on domestic rates to these home stay units to make them economically viable and create additional beds and modern facilities for the visiting tourists in rural areas Sikkim state tourism department has tied up with Kerala, Maharastra, Gujarat, Goa and Karnataka tourism for ensuring maximum tourist flow from these states to Sikkim and added that state tourism department is negotiating with Nepal tourism and Bhutan tourism to ensure maximum international tourism flow from these areas to Sikkim.

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