Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Sikkim Gets 2.5 lakh tourists by April 2011

GANGTOK, 31 May: The tourist season is underway full swing. And as is expected, long queues waiting taxis can be seen at the taxi stops, especially during office hours. People are complaining against the non-availability of taxis and also the service of SNT city runners which are either not regular or not enough.
The official data of Tourism Department as on 30 April 2011 shows that the State has already received 2,44,642 domestic and 7,539 foreign tourists in the first four months of the year. Comparing figures for last year, show the inflow of domestic tourists at 2,36,312. But the data shows decline in the inflow of foreign tourists as the number was 7,945 last year, which is higher by 406.

The data for the month of May 2011 has not been compiled yet, but last year, the highest number of domestic tourists at 1,16,641 visited the State in the month of May. Comparative figures till April this year and the crowd of domestic tourists in the market suggests that the last year’s May record of domestic tourists will be broken this time.
“The increase in the arrival of tourists could be because of the good weather conditions and also there is no disruption on the National Highway,” said a travel agent, adding that, this year, maximum tourists are visiting North Sikkim.
As evidence, a Government employee posted in Mangan said, “I came to the head office on Saturday with some official work and I was supposed to return on Monday but was unable to get a single seat. Since morning I’m waiting for the vehicle.”
A hotelier at Tibet Road confirmed that his 12-roomed hotel was packed for the entire month of May with bookings full till June 05.
But there is the worry about the decline in the inflow of foreign tourists. The data reveales that except January, there is a marked decline in the arrivals as compared to last year’s data.
January’s data shows foreign tourists inflow at 1,436 against at 984 last year. February- 1,065, March- 2,423 and April- 2,615 foreigners visited the State compared to last year’s 1,320, 2,605 and 3,036 respectively.
In 2010 a total of 7,00,011 domestic tourists arrived in the State, whereas, 20,757 foreign tourists had chosen Sikkim as one of the tourist spots

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