Friday, October 16, 2015

Okharey to host ecotourism fest this weekend

To explore the touristic appeal of rural Sikkim and to showcase its customs and traditions, the Forest Department, under the banner of Sikkim Biodiversity Conservation and Forest Management Project [SBFP], is organizing the three-day Okharey Ecotourism festival at Okharey, a Sherpa hamlet in West Sikkim.
The ecotourism festival is scheduled to be formally inaugurated by Forest Minister, Tshering Wangdi Lepcha on 17 October.  The main objective of the fest is to promote the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary, the rich biodiversity of the region and also the Sherpa traditions.
While addressing the media here at Gangtok, Forest Secretary Dr. Thomas Chandy said that as of now, the department has identified three hamlets - Pangthang in East, Kitam in South and Okharey in West - as Ecotourism zones. As per the state government's mission to promote tourism in the state as the only viable industry, seven more are to be identified and made into Ecotourism destinations in another four years to promote the interior parts of the state.
He also informed that already 10-12 groups of foreign delegates are in Sikkim to take part in the World Tourism Mart and to explore Sikkim as a world tourism destination. They will also be visiting the Okharey Ecotourism fest tomorrow. More than 1,000 domestic and foreign tourists are expected to visit the Okharey fest.
Dr. Chandy said that with the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary on its forest fringes, Okharey is blessed with countless flora and fauna. Ecotourism is all about preserving natural resources and forest life and appreciating the indigenous charm of the land.
Moreover, the unique culture of the Sherpa community will be an added attraction for visitors. He further informed that activities like horse riding, night scouting, night safari, trekking, mountain biking, traditional food, meditation, cultural program and snow lion dance will be the major attractions of the Carnival.
The Principal Secretary informed that while there are some promising organisations working on ecotourism development in Okharey, some support from the SBFP will go a long way in propagating ecotourism in a systematic manner.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Readers are invited to comment on, criticise, run down, even appreciate if they like something in this blog. Comments carrying abusive/ indecorous language and personal attacks, except when against the people working on this blog, will be deleted. It will be exciting for all to enjoy some earnest debates on this blog...