Geyzing, December 26
A week long 10th Kanchenjunga Winter Tourism Festival began here at Pelling, West Sikkim. As usual the festival is organized by Pelling Tourism Development Association (PTDA) for propagation and promotion of tourism in West Sikkim.
Sanjit Kharel, minister for transport, building and housing department who was present as the chief guest inaugurated the festival today in presence of area MLA and PHE minister Bhim Hang Subba, MLA Aditya Golay, chairman of organizing committee N.B Dahal and others.
At the outset the president of organizing committee Wangchuk Bhutia informed that objectives behind organizing tourism festival was to promote and propagate tourism sector through distinct socio – cultural touristic activities in West Sikkim. He added that PTDA since its establishment in 1992 has been working for promotion and development of tourism in West Sikkim through the activities based on tourism. Bhutia maintained that tourism sector has been in flourishing state in West Sikkim and the sector has played a crucial role in improvement of economic conditions of the people and has contributed towards employment generation for the locals. “Flow of tourist is increasing in West Sikkim by each passing years and homestay tourism has witnessed a notable surge in recent years. West Sikkim has an immense potential to grow up as a tourism hub”, he said.
However he maintained that improvement necessitate in terms basic tourism facilities such as roads, drinking water, sanitation facilities, hotels management and others are the issues to be worked on.
Minister Sanjit Kharel in his brief address called for greater participations of the people in the tourism sector of the state. He maintained that promotion and development of tourism sector could open a floodgates of opportunities for the Sikkimese people. He added that economic sustainability could be achieved through tourism sector. “Sikkim is a serene, peaceful and a beautiful place and through tourism sector we should utilize the distinct and diverse features of our state in a way that would be beneficial for the people of the state”, he said.
He further pressed for collective effort of the state government, tourism stakeholders and individual for sustainable development of tourism sector.
Bike riding on the theme ‘Ride for unity and for sustainable tourism’ is also being organized by PTDA all over the state.
The visitors at the festival venue can relish upon traditional food items at the stalls set up by the distinct communities of West Sikkim. Gurung, Rai, Limboo, Newar, Tamang, Bhutia, Lepcha, Magar, Chettri and Bahun communities have placed their food stalls in the festival. Other attractions of the tourism festival are Yak riding, paragliding, trekking and cultural activities.