To boost Sikkim's tourism industry, Additional chief secretary tourism and civil aviation department, SML Srivastav chaired a coordination meeting with stakeholders and various line departments to discuss the issues concerning the tourism industry here at the mini-conference hall of Paryatan Bhawan, Tourism and Civil Aviation Department on January 18.
In the discussion that was held during the meeting, the department decided that only registered tourism agencies can operate tours in the state and will charge rates as finalised by the Government.
The main goal of the program was to talk about how to make things easier for tourists, make sure tourists are comfortable when they arrive in Sikkim, and make it easy for local taxi drivers and state tourism agencies to do business.
The status of Pakyong Greenfield Airport, the standardization of taxi fares, and an evaluation of the state's road condition were all thoroughly reviewed and discussed during the meeting.
In a similar line, the meeting's agenda included the modification of Sikkim's marketing strategy to include participation in national and international trade shows as well as the introduction of new destinations and trek routes throughout the state.
During the meeting, the stakeholders provided the ACS and HoDs of various line departments with their complaints and suggestions. Here are a few examples:
* Allow local taxis to serve as tourist vehicles in major cities.
* Adding tourist buses to major destinations to reach as many tourists as possible.
* Taxis and other high-end vehicles are required to have clearly defined rate charts installed, which the appropriate authorities will monitor on a regular basis.
* Tours throughout the State can only be offered by registered tourism organizations.
* Travel agencies should charge the same price as the government says they should.
* Through the use of government portals and audio-visual media centers, lowering the prices of major tourist destinations throughout the state.
* The name of the Green lake, which is between the Zemu Glacier and Khangchendzonga Base Camp, has been changed.
* An introduction to new destinations and trekking routes in the form of a brochure with QR codes that includes details about transportation, venues' opening and closing hours, hotels, tour guides, and emergency numbers. When tourists arrive in Sikkim, these brochures will be given to them.
* Introducing Goecha La, Menmecho Lake, and Bhaley Dunga as brand-new trekking areas and tourist attractions.
* Destination names that must be approved by the Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation to avoid tourist confusion. milestones rediscovered with appropriate regional names.
* In the coming days, the Tourist Police and Tourist Directorate will be installed.
Shri M.L. Srivastav, Additional Chief Secretary of the Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation, acknowledged the suggestions and promised that they would be forwarded to higher authorities and coordinated with various line departments for implementation. Additionally, it was informed that a meeting would be held in the coming days to gather feedback and suggestions from tourism stakeholders from all six districts and line departments.
Shri Srivastava, ACS, thanked everyone for attending the productive meeting and urged line departments and stakeholders to work together to boost the state's tourism industry. He thanked the stakeholders and government officials for their helpful feedback and expressed his hope for future meetings of this kind.
Special Secretary Karma Doma Youtso, Additional Secretary Bandana Chettri, Additional Chief Engineer Jigmee Wangyal Bhutia, S.D.P.O. Gangtok, Prakash Subba, RTO Transport Department, R. Pradhan, President TAAS, Shri S. Wangyal Lachungpa, President ASTHA, Suman Chettri, Central Joint Action Committee Local Taxi (Gangtok) President Bhaichung Bhutia
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