An exposure cum study Tour representing various section of Tourism stakeholders comprising of Department officials, Tour operators, Homestay operators and Rural Tourism entrepreneurs and Panchayat leaders was organized by the department enabling the participants to have indebt knowledge about operation of Home stay and understand about Rural Tourism which was completed today.
Tinchulay a small helmet in Darjeeling district where the first home stay in India was established in the year 1995 where today almost every house in the village is a homestay. Mr Norbu G Lama, the President of the Rangli Rangliot Homestay Association explained to the delegates from Arunachal Pradesh about the evolution of homestay in the region, especially the colonial & heritage homestays and how economically homestay can benefit the local communities and cater to economic empowerment.
The delegates of the Exposure Trip have also visited a local secondary school ( a colonial bungalow of 1911 converted into a school). Sharing information about Arunachal Pradesh to the senior students of the school, Smti Bengia Manna Sonam, Dy Director of Tourism have given a project about Arunachal Pradesh and declared that the best project about Arunachal Pradesh will be awarded with a visit to Arunachal Pradesh.
Later the team members were taken to Asia’s first Orchid Research Centre of Asia at Tagdah were different spices of orchid wild and hybrid along with the medicinal plant value of many wild plants was also introduced to the delegation by a forest official. The member of the first Homestay of India, Nagen Gurung exposed the members to a new destination called Lamahatta and gave them the background of the place and people.
The learning process through interaction with stakeholders, the encounters with destinations to create activities for visitors which are in tune with local nature and culture was the main highlight of the study tour.
And since, it was important to understand Heritage presentation and the team visited the Ghoom Museum at 7407 feet, outdoor and indoor of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway or popularly known as Toy Train.
The entire team of 17 delegates had first reached Gangtok, the capital to the Indian state of Sikkim, where a meet was invited by Lukendra Rasaily, Chairman of Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation and Birendra Tamling, the Advisor for IPR, Government of Sikkim as the Chief Guest, the officials of Sikkim Tourism, President & Secretary of 35 years old, Travel Agents Association of Sikkim (TAAS), Sikkim Homestay Association, Sikkim Adventure Association and media worked with the team from Arunachal Pradesh to find out scope for collaboration between the two states for planning a better future for Himalaya through Tourism. This was the first such exercise for collaboration between two Northeastern states, one being the largest & the other smallest.