Back at Business: Sikkim Tourism
As tourism is bouncing back in most of the states of India and in other countries. Sikkim is nowhere behind the line. After closing the boundaries for tourists for almost Six to seven months, Sikkim reopened tourism for the domestic tourists in October 2019. According to the Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation (STDC) the state bared the loss of 600 crores due to the pandemic lockdown. The impact of the lockdown down was particularly hard on the small travel agencies, taxi drivers, hotels and homestays. For a very long time Sikkim was successful in holding COVID-19 out of the boundaries but not for too long, cases after cases detected and Sikkim entered in the list of COVID-19 positive states of the country. In all, Sikkim has registered over 5,600 approx. COVID-19 cases so far and more than 120 fatalities.
But now our favourite tiny Himalayan state is all open for the tourist. The International tourist having valid visas will get the inner line permit. To keep the COVID-19 under control, the government of Sikkim has set up the odd and even rule for the vehicles as per their registration number. Limited number of people in the public vehicles, compulsory keeping a distance in all the shops. The department of tourism and civil aviation has issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) to travel, Tourists are advised to carry a valid COVID-19 negative certificate issued 72 hours prior to their arrival. The person above 65 years of age and below 10 years kids are still restricted to travel.
As Sikkim is welcoming the tourist, the people and the govt of Sikkim would like tourist to behave in a certain way. This pandemic has given us another chance to deal with the negative impact of tourism on the environment. There is no doubt we have faced the economic loss but we have gained the environment. As a tourist we can help in maintain it by using less plastic, not throwing garbage on the road, keeping the place clean also the booking of homestays should be given preference.