SIKKIM, March 25: Entrepreneurs in the eastern part of Nepal and the neighboring Indian State of Sikkim have expedited consultation for possible cooperation in tourism promotion.
Given geographical and cultural proximity between Nepal and the adjoining Indian state, various organizations of entrepreneurs from both sides are seeking to establish relations and work for joint tourism promotion. Entrepreneurs from Ilam, Panchthar, Taplejung, Jhapa and Morang districts in the eastern part of Nepal have started joint consultations with the stakeholders in Sikkim for possible cooperation in the development of tourism infrastructures and policy facilitation for tourism promotion. A joint team of entrepreneurs from the eastern part reached Geyzing of Sikkim to attend a five-day tourism festival 'Nunthale Laligurash Tourism Festival', which kicked off from March 22 in the remote Nunthale village of Sikkim.
As many as 20 representatives of various entrepreneurs' organizations of the eastern part of Nepal as well as other bodies concerned are taking part in the event at the invitation of the government of Sikkim. Various local farm products and traditional farming equipment from both sides have been kept on display in the festival, which is organized annually.
“We believe that the event will help to bring entrepreneurs from both sides together and pave the way for sustainable tourism promotion,” said Tulasi Bahadur Chettri, president of the organization committee of the festival.
Keshav Dhaurali, director of Mechi Pahadi, an organization of entrepreneurs, said that the governments of Nepal and India should work together for the establishment of a cross-border trekking trail. “Entrepreneurs of both sides should work to develop cross-border tour packages so that tourists visiting Nepal can also visit the Indian state and vice-versa,” he added.
He said that joint efforts in tourism promotion can benefit both sides and can lead to sustainable tourism promotion.
Similarly, Minister for Livestock and Agriculture of Sikkim Somnath Paudel also highlighted the importance of cross-border cooperation for tourism promotion. “Joint cooperation between Sikkim and eastern part of Nepal in the tourism sector can unleash lots of business opportunities. It is high time that we made joint efforts for possible cooperation,” he told the Nepali entrepreneurs attending the event. “Let us work together to develop necessary plans and work together for infrastructures development,” he added.
Dhaurali of Mechi Pahadi invited stakeholders of Sikkim to take part in a tourism promotion event to be held later in the first week of May in Illam. “We want to increase dialogue with entrepreneurs in Sikkim so that the idea of joint cooperation can be materialized in the near future,” he added.
He said that the number of tourists visiting Sikkim is rapidly increasing and Nepal can benefit a lot if cross-border tourism if the cooperation becomes a reality.