Gangtok, Feb 18:
Upgradation of Tourism Infrastructure at TIC and Checkposts for digitized online services to Tourists and Stakeholders. A team of Officers from Deptt of Tourism and Civil Aviation met Gyan Bhushan Economic Adviser, Asst Director General and Director at the Ministry of Tourism Govt of India on 17th Feb 2022, to present the need for upgradation of ICT infrastructure at the Permit Offices and Tourism Information Centres at various locations in Sikkim including the Rangpo, Melli and Ramam Check Posts.
Under the leadership of our Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang and Minister Bedu Singh Panth, the manner in which Sikkim Tourism created an Eco-Systems for digitized / computerized management of operations and activities for promotion of tourism, in keeping with the interests of tourists and stakeholders, providing augmented valued added services, maintaining standards of services and ensuring compliance with policies of the state providing efficient and responsive tourism related services was highlighted to the Ministry of Tourism.
Ministry of Tourism appreciated the Vision for Sikkim Tourism and the fact that the initiatives implemented has achieved synergies across tour operators, hotels, homestays, to enable offer varied programme itineraries & in creating exciting tourists experiences with augmented facilities, conveniences and online information & services at tourist destinations with a cluster based approach including a repertoire of augmented adventure activities, trekking, fishing, archery and visits to local organic farms.
The Ministry agreed to support and extend financial grant for the augmentation of ICT infrastructure at TICs and checkposts with improved internet bandwidths, that will ensure interalia the offer of expanded itineraries of tour & travel packages, booking of accommodation at hotels, home stays/ farm stays, guest houses, B&B establishments, service apartments, avail services offered, plan visits to tourist destinations, move around sightseeing places, and delight in such travel experiences. Issue of Permits like Restricted Area Permit, Protected Area Permit, mountaineering/ climbing of peaks, trekking, camping and for visiting tourist destinations in Sikkim would also be made online. Bikash Basnett who developed the unified portal offering various tourist services demonstrated the significance of travel cards which tourists are required to generate online and threal-time dashboard showing the profile of tourists visiting Sikkim. He also explained the content management system, crowdsourcing features and the registration and renewal of registration of tourism service providers on the portal.
Dr K Jayakumar ACS and Ms Chunkula US Tourism and Civil Aviation emphasised the measures implemented to sustain the initiative and the elaborate efforts taken to deploy a trained team of back-office technical support in the form of Digital Operations Task Force which monitors the tourism requests, responds proactively to offer support services to make the travel experiences easy and delightful, as also memorable for the tourists. They highlighted the significance of the tourism sector and its potential to support the livelihoods of a significant section of the Sikkim population and the measures taken by the Sikkim Govt under the visionary leadership of Chief Minister in creating state of the art infrastructure in tourism destinations and offering schemes like the Sikkim Skilled Youth Start-Up Scheme and Homestay Scheme under which 1000 homestays are getting established to promote rural tourism in the State.