Identification of Potential Tourism Places in Sikkim using Remote Sensing & GIS

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Sanju Das
B.S. Purkayastha, Saptarshi Paul


Nestled in the Eastern Himalayas, the state of Sikkim is home to immense biological diversity and rich natural and cultural heritage. It is one of the highest regions with an area of 7096 sq. km. It is a biological hot spot with many rare, endemic varieties of flora and fauna. This bio-diversity wealth contributes significantly to the country’s natural heritage and to the nation’s ecological balance. Besides, Sikkim is a cauldron, in which the great cultures of Tibet and India have been synthesized together to evolve as a land of variegated cultures and traditions. Yet the region has tended to be left far behind in developmental needs and poverty levels are comparatively high. Current economic wisdom states that the tourism sector would constitute a keep sector in the economy of hill regions. Sikkim has great potential for the same as it has a major portion of its land comprising of the Great Himalayas, and has several trekking routes offering for attracting a growing trekking community. The tourism trends are studied to map the state of progress and prospects of tourism in the state, and for the general understanding of patterns of tourist influx. Tourism in Sikkim is predominantly domestic; foreign tourists comprise only 5.5% of the total tourist influx[1]. The trends reveal that Sikkim tourism is in the developmental stage of increasing growth of tourist influx. Simulations based on three scenarios suggest that approximately 7.6–10.4 lakhs tourists would visit Sikkim during the year 2017, which would also have Implications on the infrastructure, environment, natural resources, culture and eco-tourism of the state. The impacts are also analyzed in light of papered increase in the population and trends of livestock resources and agricultural production. A proactive planning involving optimal use of management options, therefore, is required for a viable symbiosis of tourism and environment, and sustainability of tourism in the state.

Keywords: RSGIS; Sikkim; Remote; Sensing



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