Having declared the year 2010 as the Year of Tourism, the Sikkim government has drawn up a plan incorporating as many as 13 local festivals in the list of popular events to be staged next year to woo tourists from across the country and abroad.
Officials of the tourism department said that the celebration of the Year of Tourism will commence with the Sikkim Discover Festival to be held in March/April next year and conclude with the State Flower Show to be held at the state capital in March, 2011.
In April 2010, a number of cultural events will be held at Rabong, Aritar and Temi-Tarku to delight the visitors.
Apart from this, an international Rhododendron festival will be held at Shingba Lachung in North Sikkim and Varsey in West Sikkim during the first three weeks of May 2010. Also Hee-Bermoik Cultural Heritage Festival will be held in West Sikkim, they said.
The events on the occasion of the World Environment Day to be held on June 5 next will be another attraction for the tourists, while in July the visitors may enjoy the monsoon and the plantation drive throughout the Himalayan state.
The tourists will be encouraged to plant saplings at popular tourist destinations and participate at conferences, workshops, seminars and other activities to promote awareness for conservation of bio-diversity. MORE PTI KDK MD PR rsh
A monsoon festival will be held on August five at Tharpu in West Sikkim showcasing the ethnic culture. In September, next year the tourism department has proposed to hold the World Tourism Day with eco-adventure, camping, village tourism and home stay activities.
In October, two festivals Dasia festival and Namchi Mahotsava have been planned, while a number of conferences, workshops, seminars and meetings on tourism related themes will be held in November, 2010.
In December, apart from the snowfall which usually takes places in various parts the state, the festivals like Music Festival at Mangan in North Sikkim, Khangchendzonga Festival at Pelling in West Sikkim and Gangtok Winter Festival will take place in which a large number of tourists may take part.
The grand New Year Celebrations will be held throughout the state to bid good bye to the year 2010 in which the tourists are expected to take part in large numbers.
The celebration of the Year of Tourism will also continue into the year 2011 with events like Maghey Sankranti Mela at Jorethang in January, Tourism festival at Yuksom in February and the State Florishow at White Hall complex in the state capital.
The tourism authorities expect to draw 30 per cent more tourists next year over the usual inflow every year of five lakh, the officials said.