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Published: August 14th 2014
Kewzing is a small scenic village located at an altitude of 2200 meters and 85 kms away from Gangtok city, capital of Sikkim, India. Surrounded by hills and very close to Pelling, view point of Mount Kanchendzonga, world’s 3rdhighest mountain. Kewzing is hardly 10 k.m from Ravangla, a beautiful rural area, where the population mainly consist of Bhutia tribes. The route to Kewzing is featured by Buddhist prayer flags, and monasteries.
Community Based Tourism project named Kewzing Tourism Development Committee (KTDC) was established in the year 2002 for the development of local community with the help of a local NGO, Sikkim Development Foundation (SDF). In 2004 ECOSS, Ecotourism and Conservation Society of Sikkim (NGO based in Gangtok) has formed a committee for promoting community tourism. This committee consists of 15 Bhutia families staying in Kewzing village at Ravangla in South Sikkim. The conceptualization of Community Tourism is one of the key motivating factors of the establishment of this project. The committee is headed by President, Vice President and General Secretary.
Out of 15 Bhutia families, 10 families had a regular source of income and remaining 5 families had no regular employment at the time of initiation of
the project. With a small financial assistance from Sikkim Development Foundation and individual investments from Kewzing Tourism Development Committee, supported each member of the community to modify their houses with basic amenities. The members of the community were given a comprehensive training on hospitality, guest handling and preparing traditional cuisines. The packages were marketed through a travel agency based in Gangtok and two main website (sikkimhomestay.com and www.sikkimtourism.gov.in). The operating principle of this community project is a holistic one. When tourists arrive, they are first received by the monk and the community members in the monastery located in the village. After the traditional welcome they are escorted to the concerned family’s house where the guests would be staying. The accommodation is simple but neat and comfortable and wholesome local food is served from the family kitchen. The guests are encouraged to join the Bhutia family in farming, cooking etc. The package has options such as to have traditional dance form “Bhutia Dance”, spa treatment, soft trekking, village walk etc. the unemployed youths of this committee are given opportunities to guide the tourists.
The revenue sharing mechanism among the committee members gives a clear picture of how committee members
benefit out of this project. 25 percent of the published tariff goes as the agency’s margin. 10 percent is towards the maintenance and development of the Monastery and 10 percent is towards the committee fund. Rs 700/- is given to the family for one night stay of the guest. The family members are selected on rotation basis, in order to give equal chance to every family involved in the committee. The family members acknowledge that the interaction with foreign and domestic tourists helped them to understand and share various cultural lives, differences in behaviors etc. It also helped them to gain knowledge and motivated them to learn foreign languages.
Visit Kewzing and experience the difference...!!!
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