Sikkim chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling didn’t jump with glee when an officer told him earlier this week that global travel guide Lonely Planet had named his state the “best region to visit in 2014”. He’d been working towards the goal for too long to feign surprise.
Sikkim was the first Indian state to frame an eco-tourism policy with the help of Japanese and American experts. It started popularising village tourism a few years ago and aggressively developed tourist destinations and circuits and a bunch of activities to attract tourists. This is precisely what Lonely Planet has recognized: the sustainable community-based tourism model that Sikkim has successfully developed in less-developed areas of the state.
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