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regular-article-logo Monday, 24 June 2024

Fourth entry point opens for foreigners to Sikkim

Secretary of state's tourism department hopes for a boost in the number of travellers in the coming days

Rajeev Ravidas, Vivek Chhetri Siliguri, Darjeeling Published 02.03.22, 01:20 PM
Security personnel and tourists at Reshi, the new point for foreigners to enter Sikkim

Security personnel and tourists at Reshi, the new point for foreigners to enter Sikkim Telegraph picture

The Sikkim government on Tuesday opened access to foreigners from Reshi checkpost on the border between the newly created Pakyong district and Bengal’s Kalimpong district.

Reshi is the fourth point for foreigners to enter Sikkim.

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So far, Indian tourists could enter Sikkim from multiple points, but foreigners could only do so from three places — Rangpo, Melli and more recently from Rammam bordering Darjeeling district — keeping in mind national security concerns.

“We have opened the Reshi checkpost in keeping with the vision of the chief minister (P. S. Tamang) to encourage more tourists to our state,” said Prakash Chhetri, the secretary of Sikkim’s tourism department.

Bishnu Kumar Khatiwara (Sharma), the MLA of Rhenock in Sikkim, inaugurated the foreigners’ registration office on the Sikkim side of the border.

Pedong, Lava and Reshi are popular tourist spots on the Kalimpong side of the border. The new entry point is likely to encourage foreigners to visit these parts of Kalimpong as well.

Chhetri said he was optimistic about tourism in Sikkim if Covid-19 did not play spoilsport again. “Luxury hotels are already booked to capacity. The signs are very good,” he said.

Chhetri said three foreigners entered Sikkim from Reshi on the first day.

“I am at Reshi with my friend Alain and, yeah, we are feeling good,” said Patrice Durcodoy, a French national.

Before Covid-induced curbs, Sikkim had seen a jump of almost 90 per cent in foreign tourist inflow in 2019
compared to the previous year.

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