Establishment Of An Ecotourism Marketing Cell

This subcomponent details the formation of an Ecotourism Marketing Cell to be established under the PMU in order to address the weak marketing of Sikkim. Tourism professionals, especially Ecotourism specialists, will be recruited from the private sector to form the EMC established under the PMU. EMC members will be experienced tourism marketers with excellent track records. Their salaries will reflect market rates equivalent to those of corresponding professional levels in private sector organizations. Advertising locally and nationally may be required to recruit them. The EMC will be headed by a Chief Executive Officer and will comprise two sections. Each section will have one manager and one assistant. Most of the initiatives will be outsourced to specialist companies. The Chief Executive will be responsible for formulating strategy with section managers, reporting to the PMU, and assuming the role of spokesperson for the development of ecotourism in Sikkim. The Product, Sales and Advertisement Manager will be responsible for managing linkages between the ecotourism service providers in Sikkim and tour operators and travel agents within and outside Sikkim as well as for advising service providers on how to develop and improve their products.

He/she will compile and maintain a sales manual for ecotourism in Sikkim aimed at domestic and international trade. He/she will also be responsible for overseeing the construction of infrastructure proposed for the Project. The manager will also perform publicity functions including the production of collateral material, media advertisement, and maintenance of a website. Most activities will be outsourced to advertising companies. PMU staff or EMC staff will attend trade fairs with the Public Relations (PR) Manager and assist sections as and when needed. The Events and Festivals Manager will be responsible for all PR-related activities including developing relationships with the media, organizing trips, seminars, and presentations on Sikkim, and organizing and managing an events programme. The manager will also gather information on the tourists that visit Sikkim or could potentially visit Sikkim to understand their behavior and their needs, on competitors and their performance, and on general marketing trends. He/she will commission studies as required by the department.