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Singapore tour operators visit Sikkim

By Correspondent

GANGTOK, July 28 � The three-member team of Singapore Tour Operators on its final day of Sikkim visit met the members of Sikkim Association of Adventure Tour Operators (SAATO) in Gangtok today.

They discussed various means through which Sikkim tourism can be promoted in Singapore and vice versa. The prime purpose of the visit by the Singapore team was to explore the potential of Sikkim in tourism and tourism potential areas and also to observe what Sikkim has to offer.

In the meeting, SAATO Advisor PK Dong emphasising on promotion of Sikkim tourism in Singapore informed that only 700 about tourists from Singapore visit Sikkim annually. The total number of international tourists visiting India every year is four million while it is more than 10 million in case of Singapore.

One of the members of the visiting Singapore Tour Operators, Teng Suet Heong Susan, said that Sikkim has many potential domains to offer to the people of Singapore as far as tourism is concerned like eco-tourism, homestays, pilgrimage tourism, etc. However, she laid extra emphasis on promotion of tourism in Singapore saying only handful of Singapore people, who are inclined to pilgrimage tourism or Buddhism, know about Sikkim as it comes under the Buddhism circuit but generally the people of Singapore have not heard about Sikkim. The Singapore team observed adventure and photography as marketing tools for Sikkim.

The Singapore delegation also interacted with the members of Sikkim Hotel and Restaurant Association (SHRA) on July 25. The interactive session chaired by Secretray for Tourism SBS Bhaduria was also attended by the representativeson of Travel Agents Association of Sikkim.

Promotion of Sikkim Tourism in the South-East Asian countries topped the agenda of the discussions. Bhanu Rasaily, the General Secretary of the association informed the visiting tour operators about the association�s commitment to promote quality tourism.

Representing the visiting operators, Kathy Thang came up with the suggestion of promoting tradition, culture, handicrafts, and food items to attract increased number of tourists in the region.

She pointed out the natural beauty and the peaceful atmosphere as the major plus points for the State but at the same time, she was also critical of the poor infrastructure and connectivity in the State.

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