With views of the snow-capped, mighty Kanchenjunga and lush green meadows, Sikkim is truly a sight to behold in any month of the year. The North-Eastern state always saw a surge of tourists in the past. However, due to the pandemic, the Sikkim tourism has been hit badly. More than half of the year is already behind us, and there is hardly any improvement in the situation. The state is especially finding it challenging to recoup from the losses and get back to business. Although the government plans to allow tourism in October, are the tourists willing to pick up their backpacks?
Loss Of Over 15,000 Jobs In Sikkim
The pandemic has shown Sikkim the worst. Lockdowns and fear of Covid have led to 1,528 travel agencies shutting down, and got about 18,000 cabs and luxury tourist vehicles off the roads. Nearly 2,200 hotels, homestays and restaurants have no business, and about 150,000 people are out of work because of the badly hit tourism. Tourism, which is the backbone of the state’s economy, approximately generates ₹50-100 crore a month in the peak seasons. The state’s primary industries include agriculture, tourism, agro-processing, and the generation of hydroelectric power, among others. Did you know World’s Highest Golf Course Is Located In East Sikkim?
The Golden Pre-Covid Days
In the pre-covid days, a tour operator could earn anywhere between ₹10-20 lakh in a single batch of foreign tourists trekking to Nathu La, Sandakphu and Goecha La. In peak seasons tour guides in adventure tourism make up to Rs 30 lakh, which is the income for the whole year. Sikkim Shuts All Doors To Tourists Till October To Remain Coronavirus-Free.
Losses Of ₹500 Crore In The Tourism Sector
The once well-to-do state is now staring at a loss of over ₹500 crore in tourism and allied sectors state’s population. About 1 million tourists come to Sikkim every year. Considering ₹3,000 as the daily expense of a single tourist, one can imagine the magnitude of the loss from the regular tourist inflow of 500,000 in the past months. Sikkim’s Lachen To Introduce Bamboo Water Bottles For Tourists.
As compared to 10% of the population in the tourism business in other states, 50% of the people in Sikkim earn their bread and butter from tourism. While packages are being announced for industries like construction and manufacturing, the government has done very little for tourism so far.