New Delhi: KJ Alphons, Union minister for tourism will be inaugurating the project “Development of North East Circuit: Rangpo– Rorathang- Aritar- Phadamchen- Nathang-Sherathang- Tsongmo- Gangtok-Phodong- Mangan- Lachung-Yumthang- Lachen- Thangu-Gurudongmer- Mangan- Gangtok-Tuminlingee- Singtam”, implemented under Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India in the presence of Ugen T Gyatso, minister of tourism and civil aviation, Government of Sikkim in Zero Point, Gangtok on Wednesday.

This project was sanctioned by the Ministry of Tourism in June 2015 for Rs. 98.05 Crores.
The development of tourism in the Northeastern region being a prime area of focus for the Ministry of Tourism, several initiatives for growth of domestic and international tourism in the region has been taken by the ministry. One of the many challenges regions faces in the development of tourism is the absence of quality infrastructure, services and awareness about the array of tourism products region has to offer.
The ministry is carrying out a number of activities to handle the issues on above fronts. On one hand, the ministry has given great impetus to the tourism infrastructure in the region under its flagship schemes of Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD.
For the development of tourism infrastructure, the ministry has sanctioned 16 projects for Rs 1,349.04 crores covering all Northeastern states under its schemes of Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD. The ministry is actively working with other central ministries for the development of tourism in the region.
Swadesh Darshan scheme is one of the flagship scheme of the tourism ministry for the development of thematic circuits in the country in a planned and prioritised manner. Under this scheme, the government is focussing on the development of quality infrastructure in the country with the objective of providing better experience and facilities to the visitors on one hand and on other hand fostering the economic growth.
The scheme was launched in 2014 -15 and as on date the ministry has sanctioned 77 projects worth projects for Rs 6,121.69 crore to 30 states and UTs. Thirty projects and major components of these projects are expected to be completed this year. Eleven projects have been inaugurated as on date under the scheme.
For the promotion of the Northeast region, the ministry carries out special promotion in domestic and international markets highlighting regions diversity, tourism products and its rich culture. The Ministry of Tourism has also set up hotel management and food craft institutes for creating skilled manpower in tourism and hospitality sector in the Northeastern region.
The efforts of the ministry have shown positive results and the foreign tourist arrivals in the region have shown an upward trend over the years. The region received a total of 1.69 lakh foreign tourist visits during 2017 as against 1.45 lakh in 2016 registering a growth of 16.7% over 2016.
The domestic tourist visits reached to 95.47 lakhs in the year 2017 against 77.71 lakhs registering impressive double-digit growth of 22.8% over 2016. The increased number of tourists, in turn, has created better employment opportunity for the local population in the region.