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September 13, 2014

WB Govt to celebrate World Tourism Day with the theme `Community and Tourism`

WB Govt to celebrate World Tourism Day with the theme `Community and Tourism`

In a bid to popularize home stay tourism inNorth Bengal, the tourism department will observe World Tourism Day with thetheme 'Community and Tourism' on 27 September. The event is likely to beorganised at Gazaldoba near Siliguri.

The state government has laid emphasis onhome stay tourism involving local people and creating a scope for them to earnlivelihood. The idea is to provide tourists an opportunity to stay with localpeople and experience local customs and traditions and relish local cuisine.

Since a mega tourism hub at Gazaldoba iscoming up, there are some villages around that place that have been selected asthe venue for the World Tourism Day programme.

In the Hills, the tourism sites includeSibkhola, Gulma, Chimney, Pokhritar, Chitrey, Bagora, Lavdah and Takdah, and inthe Dooars the areas are Panijhora, Mouchuki, Gonsaihat, Nimti, Jyanati andMagurmari. Discussions are underway with local people and we are hopeful thatthe home stay facilities would be started soon. Tourists will stay in extrarooms in local people's houses.

The tourism department will re-arrange therooms as per the requirements. While the house owners will take 80 % of therevenue, the tourism department will be getting the remaining 20. The tourismdepartment can also build cottages on vacant land.

The traditional tourist spots have becomecongested and many tourists prefer to stay in offbeat places. There are morethan 550 private home stays in north Bengal, while there are two governmentones at Chattakpur and Lamahatta. Foundation stones have been laid for threemore home stays (government) in the Hills. The home stay at Chattakpur is runby the forest department, while the Lamahatta home stay is run by the tourismdepartment.