Saturday, November 17, 2007

Eight Sikkimese out to promote Sikkim tourism

GANGTOK, Nov. 16: For the first time in the region eight men from the state will go on a cross country car rally to promote Sikkim tourism in national level from 27 December.The eight member include Mr Kishore Kharka, Mr Pranit Pradhan, Mr Manoj Chettri, Mr Roshan Gautam, Mr Rikesh Pradhan, M. Tashi Gyatso Bhutia, Mr Phup Tshering Sherpa and Mr Roshan Pradhan. They will cover 26 states within 101 days covering the entire stretch of more than 22,000 km starting from Gangtok and again return to Gangtok. “We are covering almost the entire country except Tripura and some islands of the country” said Mr Kishore Kharka, president of Sikkim tourism co-operative society (STCS). We are taking three more drivers and a mechanic along with us but before we start we will have a week-long medical awareness training so that we do not suffer from any disease,” he added.According to their data 44 lakh inbound tourist come to the country during 2006 of which Sikkim only received 0.4 per cent of it. “This is a small ratio. The state received minimum tourist as compared to other states like Rajasthan 24 percent and Kerela 21 percent and Goa 16 percent,” said Mr Pranit Pradhan another member of the expedition. “So we want to attract more percentage of tourists by asking maximum numbers of national and international tour operators to send tourists to Sikkim apart from other states,” he added.The theme of the expedition is 'National level campaign for promotion of Sikkim tourism'. The members are taking along with them books, brochures, t-shirts, caps and balloons with the caption ‘Visit Sikkim'. “We will distribute this to at least 40 to 50 tour operators of each state, to children and the general public of the different states,” said Mr Chettri another member. He added that they will have road shows and will also meet tourism departments of every states as a goodwill gesture and to build mutual relation they are promoting Sikkim tourism as a whole.“Apart from promotion campaign we will study the market for Sikkim in other states and submit a detailed report to the state government,” said Mr Pradhan. The expedition will be is organised by STCS