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Darjeeling tourism to resume from July 1

Thursday, Jun 25, 2020 14:15 [IST]

Last Update: Thursday, Jun 25, 2020 08:30 [IST]

Darjeeling tourism to resume from July 1

Our Correspondent
DARJEELING: With the Covid-19 pandemic not ending any time soon, the GTA has decided to resume tourism from July 1 with hotels to start functioning and tourism spots to reopen. The safety protocols of the Union government would be followed, said the GTA.
“Most of the people here are directly or indirectly dependent on tourism. It is a matter of their livelihood. Many hotels here have not been able to pay their workers as there is no income. Similarly, we also have to think for those dependent on tourism like shops and taxi drivers,” said GTA tourism assistant director Suraj Sharma.
Sharma said the Centre has directed that hotels should open from June 8. We were waiting for the guidelines which have come now, he said. He informed that the decision to reopen tourism sector was taken in a recent meeting of GTA with district authorities, police, hotels and trade unions of different political parties.
It was informed that thermal screening points will be placed in different entry points of GTA like Simulbari for tourists coming to Kurseong, Mirik and Darjeeling. Similarly, the thermal screening point proposed at Kalijhora is to check tourists coming to Kalimpong, Sitong and Mungpo. The Rangpo point will be for tourists coming from Sikkim.
Thermal screening would also be done at hotels. Medical fitness certificate is a must for tourists.
There are several other guidelines from the Centre and we will follow all of them, said Sharma.
“When the tourists check out from the rooms, the hotel would have to sanitize the room and keep it empty for 24 hours. Regular sanitisation of the hotel premises and tourism spots will be done. Masks are mandatory for all. Vehicles can carry passengers only fifty per cent of their capacity,” said Sharma.
Rock Garden, Gangamaya Park and Tiger Hill are some of the tourist spots under GTA that will reopen from July 1.
The GTA tourism assistant director appealed the tourists to come in individual vehicles as much as possible. He asked the hotels not to take group bookings considering the present situation.
Asked about reports where local communities are not allowing visitors, Sharma said the GTA will have talks with them and make efforts to convince them.
Meanwhile, hotels here, especially homestays have been getting bookings recently but they were unable to confirm the books as there were no proper guidelines from the authorities. Tourism industry representatives have informed that many enquiries from tourists had been coming for June and several tourists were interested to make advance bookings for October and September.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi