Wednesday, February 8, 2012

TAAS begins online promotion of Sikkim Snow Fest


GANGTOK, 31 Jan: Around 20 lakh e-mail invitations for the ‘Sikkim Snow & Cultural Festival’, a tourism recovery mission to restore pre-earthquake tourism status in the State, have been carpet bombed by Travel Agents Association of Sikkim [TAAS] to corporate sector, associations, tour operators and honeymooners in India and Southeast Asia, since 05 January.
“Eight computer operators are sending around 70,000 e-brochures of the snow festival daily from our office. We are targeting honeymooners, corporate sector, tour operators and associations of different professions and sending them e-mails”, said TAAS general secretary, Sonam Norgay Lachungpa reporters today.
The snow festival, organized by TAAS and supported by the Sikkim government, commences from Valentine’s Day and ends on Leap Day. The TAAS general secretary said that the e-mail consists of a home page of www.sikkimsnowfest.com where the recipient can click and enter the website to read the different activities outlined for the festival.
“We have tied up with a matrimonial website for getting the e-mail address of newly married couples and are sending them links to our website. The response is very encouraging as we are getting lot of enquires and feedback from potential tourists. Some of our members have already got bookings for the festival”, said Mr Lachungpa.
TAAS president, Lukendra Rasaily said that a big buzz through internet promotion has already been created for the upcoming festival. “January and February months are a lean tourism season in Sikkim. But now, through this festival, we have created a big buzz and enquires from tourists are coming in. We want tourists to visit Sikkim also during January and February so that we have a long tourism season in Sikkim. We have decided to continue the snow festival annually”, he said.
The e-mails will be continuously forwarded till the end of the festival and we aim to send 1 crore e-mails, said Mr Rasaily.
TAAS software consultant Jayant Das said that a special e-mail extractor software is being used to get the e-mail addresses of the targeted sector in India and Southeast Asia. “Once the email addresses are extracted, our computer operators start sending the e-mails to all. We are getting a thousand hits every day to our website and the numbers are increasing daily”, he said.
The snow fest website link has already been uploaded in the official website of Sikkim government and Sikkim Tourism department.
“All our members are also using the social networking site, Facebook, to promote the snow fest. Several travel writers are interested in coming to Sikkim and cover the event”, said Mr Lachungpa.
The snow fest has already received attention nationally with Australian born travel writer Sherell Cook writing a post on the festival in an Indian travel portal. “Himachal Pradesh is a popular destination for snow seekers in India, however if you're looking to have fun in a winter wonderland, this year Sikkim has something special to offer”, she writes in her post with details on the festival and a link to sikkimsnowfest.com
As part of the promotion activity, the TAAS will also be sending 1 lakh SMSes to all tour operators in the country. “Such kind of mass tourism promotional activity through e-mails and SMSes is being conducted for the first time in the country. We have good teamwork in TAAS and the Sikkim government has been very supportive”, said the TAAS president.
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