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Sikkim Darjeeling and Bhutan
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East and North East India
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And the rest of East and North East India
If you are a travel agent and looking for ground support for the Sikkim Darjeeling sector, your search ends here. Tripsy is the leading tour operator for Sikkim - Darjeeling sector. We have been operating in this region for about two decades now.
If you are in a hurry and have a query to take care of, get in touch with our travel consultant team of B2B experts immediately. You can get our contact details here. If you have a moment to understand the region and the dynamics of travel businesses here, read on.
Darjeeling is one of the oldest and most popular tourist destinations in India. It is a destination of international repute. Popular as a summer sojourn for the British, Darjeeling continued to attract tourists from all over India and abroad even after India’s Independence. Kalimpong also became a popular second destination and in the 1970s, Mirik came up as a third destination. There were no tour operator or travel agent in Darjeeling at that time. There were transporters who doubled up to provide tour operator services. Some of these transporters later became tour operators for the region with changing time.
Between 1980 and 2000, there were a handful of tour operators and travel agents providing service mostly to international tourists in Darjeeling hills. In the new millennium, tourism started booming. With the advent of the internet and an increased disposal income, the tourism in Darjeeling hills increased manyfold. The next surge of travel organizations grew to several hundred within a short span of time. Tripsy was also started towards the beginning of this phase in the year 2001-02. Most of the tour operators used to act as a DMC at that point of time
In recent years, with the increase in the number of online travel agents (OTAs), the concept of travel consolidators have come in. Instead of specializing in tour ideas, some organizations started consolidating hotel rooms. With increasing standardization of itinerary and services, focus shifted to rate competition and inventory availability. Tripsy today also plays an important role in consolidation business and is one of the leading consolidators for the region.
Sikkim came into the tourism scene much later. In 1997, the number of domestic tourists in Sikkim crossed 1,00,000 for the first time. It doubled to cross 2 lakh in the next 6 years. By 2017 the tourist arrival here reached about 14 lakh as Sikkim became a major tourist destination in India.
The sudden influx of a large number of tourists leads to the fast development of tourist facilities in Sikkim. There was fast growth in the number of hotels and transport vehicles. As non-Sikkimese are not allowed to own land or vehicle in Sikkim, the residents took advantage of the growth. The tour operator and travel agents business also grew fast. But most tour operators in Sikkim focused on providing the end service of transport and hotel booking arrangement as the neighboring state of Bengal became the hub of major DMCs.
Today there is a large number of tourist taxi operators, adventure tour operators, and hoteliers in Sikkim, but the B2B travel business continues to be dominated by operators from Siliguri and Kolkata.
The most important tourist destination in terms of the number of footfall is Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. Darjeeling used to be the preferred destination for domestic and international travelers in the past, but with increased political instability in Darjeeling and an equally increased government support in Sikkim, Darjeeling lost its place of prominence to Gangtok.
Gangtok today has the largest number of hotels in the region. Gangtok is the best for the most popular Tsomgo Lake (also pronounced Changu lake) and Baba Mandir visit as well as a day visit to Nathula Indo-China border. Gangtok is also the base for North Sikkim tour.
North Sikkim is popular among tourists for its unique high altitude landscape, snow-capped mountains, unique terrain, and beautiful mountain lakes. Lachung is the base for tours to Yumthang valley and Lachen is the base for tours to Gurudongmar lake. Lachung and Yumthang valley are more popular among tourists than Lachen and Gurudongmar lake. A 2 to 3 nights tour originating and ending in Gangtok takes tourists to these remote destinations.
Darjeeling continues to be a major attraction among tourists. The Tea, toy train, the magnificent view of the Kanchenjunga massif makes Darjeeling one of the most attractive destinations in the region.
Kalimpong in the Darjeeling hills and Pelling in Sikkim are the next two popular tourist places. Apart from these major destinations, tourists who are interested to go beyond the usual tourist destinations are also visiting hundreds of small villages and spread all over the hills with their own unique attractions.
Working in the Darjeeling Sikkim area is different from other regions in India. You have to keep in mind that Sikkim became part of India only in 1975, with some special privileges. Hence traveling to Sikkim comes with restrictions and tour organizers of Sikkim has to keep these factors in mind.
To start with there is the issue of permits. For Indian tourists, there is no permit required for entering into Sikkim. But for visiting some places such as Nathula, Tsongo lake, North Sikkim, etc, you need to have a special permit. There are many other places in Sikkim which are still not accessible to tourists.
The second area of difficulty arises due to restrictions imposed on vehicle movement. Though Sikkim and Bengal are a geographically contiguous region, there are several restrictions on tourist vehicle movement from one state to the other. In Sikkim itself, there are restrictions on which vehicle can travel in which part of the state. All these make travel planning in the area complex. Some of the ground realities are often difficult to explain too. This complex nature of transport here leads to a daily change of vehicle, higher transport cost and less control on the service delivery standards for a tour operator. No wonder that a large proportion of the tourist dissatisfaction here is related to transport, more in Sikkim side than in Darjeeling area. Proper understanding of issues in hand is important for the travel agent in order to educate the guests before arrival and take care of the guests during ongoing tours.
As a B2B Tour Operator, Tripsy is one of the oldest and most experienced in the region, we have a large team of ground handlers who have spent years in understanding the requirement of Indian guests and Indian agents and serving this requirement over decades. We offer you not only the best B2B rates but also we will offer unmatched ground handling support as a tour operator based out of the region can.
Our head office is in Siliguri which is the operational base for Sikkim Darjeeling tours. Our office is just 12 km from Bagdogra airport and 7 km from NJP station. These are the most important entry and exit points to the region. We have our own fleet of vehicles, apart from a few hotels that we manage; we have an excellent relationship with more than a hundred hotels spread over the region.
As a travel agent, all the resources are available to you here. If you are new to Sikkim – Darjeeling sector, you can go through the Destinations section that will introduce the region to you. In the Tour Packages section, you can get ideas about a large number of standard packages. And in the “More Information” section, you can get an idea about the complexities involved in organizing tour to this region.
As a tour operator for Sikkim – Darjeeling region, our main strength lies in our team of travel consultants who are always ready to help you with itinerary, costing and suggestions. Feel free to contact our team of travel experts at the numbers given at the top of this page. You can also visit our contact us page or submit a form from any of the pages, we normally get back within a couple of hours.
The journey started more than a decade ago when a financial consultant, a social activist and a biology researcher came together to start a business in tourism that none of them knew about. But travel is something they loved and enjoyed, and so they decided to change the paradigms in their own way. And they remarked “travel is more than a profession, it’s a passion”. Read More [+]