Transboundary Eco-tourism in Indo- Bhutan Region: A case of Sikkim and Bhutan Transboundary Eco-tourism in Indo-Bhutan Region: A case of Sikkim and Bhutan Dr. Nakul Chettri & Basudev UpadhyayInternational Centre for Integrated Mountain DevelopmentKathmandu, Nepal
Presentation Outline Indo Bhutan Outline Tourism in Bhutan Tourism in Sikkim Eco-tourism Potential of Indo Bhutan Region Regional Cooperation in Transboundary Tourism
Indo Bhutan Outline State wise length of the borders with Bhutan 1. Sikkim 32 Km 2. WB 183 Km 3. Assam 267 Km 4. Arunachal Pradesh 217 Km ----------------------------------------------- Total 699 Km
Tourism in BhutanBiodiversity• The Royal Botanical Garden of Edinburg recorded 5,603 species of angiosperms and gymnosperms. 369 species of orchids 46 species of rhododendrons - 105 species endemic to Bhutan About 80 species of agricultural crops• The National Biodiversity Centre has recorded 410 species of pteridophytes (ferns and fern allies) 14 globally threatened bird species and ten restricted range bird• 50 freshwater ﬁsh species• 200 species of mammals• 800 to 900 species of butterﬂy
Tourism in Bhutan…Cultural diversity• Bhutan is rich in cultural diversity and this richness is further enhanced by the variety of festivals that is being observed (eg. Tshechu).• Tourism is also highly regulated with respect to conserving local culture, including dress codes and rules for Dzongs, monasteries.
Tourism in Bhutan…. • The green valleys, snow capped peaks cold climate and attractive heritage and culture are the symbols of Bhutan. • The valleys and temples Handicraft emporiums Chukha Hydel Project monasteries are some of the majortourist places among others. • Bhutan Tourism To Have Wellness Services in order to achieve the target of 100,000 tourists in 2012.
Tourism in Bhutan… Tourist arrivals in the last two years in Bhutan
Tourism in SikkimBiodiversity in Sikkim• Sikkims orchids are world-famous as the state has more than 450 species of them.• 36 species of rhododendrons in Sikkim found at heights of 10,000 ft.• more than 600 species of Butterflies many of them rare and endangered.``• more than 5000 species of avifauna
Tourism in Sikkim.. Cultural Diversity in Sikkim • Sikkim has a mixed culture of Nepalese, Lepchas and Bhatias, each of this community has its own language, culture and dances.. • Archery-popular sport of the Sikkimese, is traditionally, played after the harvests.
Tourism in Sikkim… Tourists arrivals in Sikkim
Eco-tourism Potential of Indo-BhutanRegion… • India shares a 699 Km long border with Bhutan along Sikkim, West Bengal, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
Eco-tourism Potential of Indo BhutanRegion… Ecotourism Strategy for Sustainable Development in the Indo Bhutan Region should consider the following aspects- • Accommodation • Transportation • Water supply and sewerage • Energy • Finance • Controls
Eco-tourism Potential of Indo BhutanRegion… Role of Institutions • Tourism for Rural Poverty Alleviation Program • Quality Tourism Project • Sikkim Biodiversity and Ecotourism Project • Sikkim Biodiversity Conservation and Forest Management Project (JICA-2010 March)
Regional Co-operation in Transboundary Tourism• Transboundary Landscape Conservation in the Eastern Himalaya, an ICIMOD’s initiative for the regional cooperation.• Need of bilateral mechanism to look after the border management and security issues.• visa policies, infrastructural developments and networking capacities among the stakeholders.
Conclusions • Ecotourism - an important activity in the Himalayan region • Gaps – Data base of tourist visits Tourism development and promotion activities not sufficient. Country specific policies – Need to focus on cross border region. • Local initiatives, national efforts, regional collaboration and support from donors are needed in order to achieve sustainable development goal through nature based tourism.
Conclusions… Ecotourism planning should have the following consideration during Planning• Sustainable development of ecotourism requires the balance between three elements the tourists, the place and the host community". Therefore, at management level Government should involve local people along with NGO and private organization• To maintain visitor satisfaction in crowded locales and protection of natural features, and to maintain high quality of service there is need to assess the carrying capacity of the potential site at planning level.• Generally the ecotourism destination is developed in eco-fragile area, which has time specific attraction. The duration of visit and activity pattern of the tourist should be decided by implementing authorities to maintain natural harmony.• Proper ecotourism legislation and environmental measures should be framed and along with this strict enforcement measures should be imposed at eco-destination.• Along with this there is also need for publicity and advertisement of ecotourism destinations, Environmental group accreditation (tour operator) and adequate funding to maintain the environmental quality of the potential ecotourism destinations.