Gangtok, Feb 24 (UNI) The Sikkim government is planning to launch an eco-friendly pollution-free alternative mode of transport system with a twin objective of easing burden on the fragile eco-system and to meet the transport needs of the rising number of tourists.
Sikkim Minister for Tourism R.B.Subba told the House today that his government was planning to construct cable cars in strategtic places for the hassle-free movement of tourists without disturbing the eco-system.
He said the step was needed as the government was promoting the state as a major eco-tourism destination of the world.
Winding up the discussion on the demands for grants of the Tourism department, he said the numbr of tourists had shown a tremendous rise during the past few years due to the aggressive marketing strategies adopted by the government at the national and international level to promote Sikkim as the ultimate tourist destination.
The House later passed demand for grants for Rs 44.33 crore.
Mr Subba said this had been done due to the participation of the state in various tourism fairs and festival in the country and abroad.
He said the number of domestic and foreign tourists had increased by 17 and 19 per cent repsectively in 2004-05 in comparison to 2003-04. In 2004-05, 2,33,000 domestic and 12,600 foreign tourists had visited the state. In April, 2005, the number of foreign and domestic tourists had crossed 55,000 mark, he said.
His government had tapped all its natural resources like the Kanchenjunga, Teests river and its lake to promote tourism. The government had also organised many festivals like Namchi Mahostav, Gangtok Winter festival and Mangan music festival. The festival had helped acquire a place for Sikkim in the tourism map of the country and manged to draw a large number tourists to the state.
He hoped the number of tourists to the state would cross ten lakh mark by 2012.
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