27 Sep, Gangtok (IPR) : World Tourism Day 2017 was celebrated in the Capital today with much fervour befitting the occasion. Sustainable Development-A Tool for Development was the theme of this year’s World Tourism Day. The United Nation has declared this year as International Year of Sustainable development.
The function organised by the Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation had the presence of Hon’ble Minister, Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Shri Ugen T. Gyatso as the chief quest along with the guest of honour, Hon’ble MP (Lok Sabha), Shri P.D Rai, Secretary,T&CA Department, Shri C. Zangpo, Advisor ,T&CA Department, Shri M.B. Dahal and host of dignitaries, students, hoteliers and stakeholders.
The function commenced with the offering of khadas and lighting of ceremonial lamps by the distinguished guests. This was followed by the welcome address by Joint Director, Shri P.B Pradhan.
This was followed by the keynote address by Secretary, T & CAV Department, Shri C. Zangpo wherein he articulated on the importance of Sustainable Tourism in the state. He also expressed that there was a need to bring the economy at the doorstep of the people. He urged the gathering on the importance of showcasing and preserving the rich cultures, traditions and cuisines of the state.
He also stated that the forest cover has increased in the state and there has been carbon decrease that will further boost sustainable tourism development in the state. Further, he pointed out that Sikkim has been the most peaceful state in the country and that poverty doesn’t exist in the state. He also thanked the state leadership for making Sikkim what it is today.
The function also had enthralling traditional songs and colourful dance performances from the participants of Ekta Dance Academy.
A brief presentation on Sustainable Tourism was presented by President, TAAS, Shri Palzor Lachungpa wherein he highlighted Sustainable Tourism Development on behalf of the stakeholders. He thanked Hon’ble HCM for taking innovative steps and bringing Sikkim in the global market and being a part of Global Organic movement. He also thanked the T&CAV Department for constant support provided to the stakeholders.
A felicitation programme was also conducted wherein certificate of appreciation were presented to meritorious students, resource persons, agencies, hotels and homestays operators and peak performers in Tourism sectors from all over the state.
Also addressing the gathering Hon’ble, MP, (Lok Sabha), Shri P.D Rai touched upon the ways to bring tourism in every aspect of our life .Highlighting on the achievements of the Government ,he mentioned that there has been tremendous growth and achievement in Tourism sector and that poverty in the state has reduced from 40% to 8 % over the last two decades.
He stressed on inclusive and sustainable growth as being pivotal in today’s time. He also briefed the gathering on the 17 goals and mentioned about the 169 targets n Sustainable Development. The goals and targets integrate economic, social and environmental aspects and recognize their interlinkages in achieving sustainable development in all its dimensions. He further stated that the global outreach has begun and stressed that the Government has taken sustainability into focus by conserving nature, promoting social justice, building resilient infrastructures, resilient economic development, ensuring inclusive growth, healthy living and working towards quality education in the state.
This was followed by the address from the Chief Guest, Shri Ugen T.Gyatso. Speaking to the gathering, he highlighted on the Good Leadership and Good Governance in the last two decades. He stated that the power lies in the hand of the youth to take sustainable growth ahead. He further stressed on the ways to make Tourism sustainable and inclusive for all.
Shri Gyatso encouraged the youth to become passionate and take a proactive approach towards Tourism. Encouraging and promoting young entrepreneurs, he highlighted on the major schemes offered by the Government and also urged the youth to take full advantage from such schemes like the Chief Minister Start-ups Scheme and North East Industrial and Investment Policy (NEIPP), etc.
Lastly, he thanked the hoteliers and stakeholders for their continuous effort and contribution in the field of tourism sector and wished the gathering on the auspicious occasion of Dussehra.
The function ended with the distribution of tokens and certificate of participation to the tourist guides, tour operators and taxi drivers for their participation in sensitisation programme organised by the Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation