Sikkim eyes Rs.1,500 crore business from tourism annually

New Delhi, Sep 27 (IANS) Sikkim is aiming to generate tourism business worth Rs.1,500 crore perannum by 2020, a state minister said here Friday.

Tourism Minister Bhim Dhungel said the state's annual business from tourism leap-frogged to Rs. 400 crore in 2010 from Rs.75 crore in 2000. The figure was only Rs.1 crore in 1980.

"The target for generation of economic activities by the eyar 2020 from the sector has been fixed at Rs.1,500 crore per annum," Dhungel said at the launch of 777 days of the incredible India Himalayas organised by union tourism ministry here.

By 2020, the state aims to attract one lakh foreign tourists and 20 lakh domestic tourists annually.

Dhungel said 12,862 domestic and 2,572 international tourists visited the state in 1980. The number of domestic tourist arrivals shot up to 7,00,011, while the visitors from abroad rose to 20,757 in 2010.

To promote tourism, the state government has decided to create more tourist destinations, open new trekking routes, and undertake aggressive marketing.

The Buddhist circuits are also being developed to promote religious tourism in the state, Dhungel said.

"We will develop Sikkim as a principal tourism destination in South and South-East Asia by 2015," he added.


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