A market-driven approach was adopted wherein partnership was made in Nov-2014 with the Youth Hostel Association of India (YHAI) who assured 10 groups of 20 tourists each from 13th April to 5thMay 2015. A "family with family" model of village tourism was adopted wherein family groups would be selected by YHAI from amongst its members for homestay experience with the Sikkimese families. With the arrival of tourists assured, trainings on homestays, nature guides and local hospitality was carried out by WWF-India, ECOSS and SIRD.
The village panchayats played a lead role in grounding this initiative and also ensured equitable sharing of incomes amongst the various wards in the gram panchayat using a rotation approach. The tourists stayed two nights in Kitam where they were entertained by cultural shows, exciting visit to the Kitam Bird Sanctuary and Rangit river side walk. In Tingvong, the visitors spent two days and were spell bound by the spectacular mountain views, dense forests, deep ravines and the solitude and calm of this hidden paradise.
Trekking in the Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve, joint cultural show, and village walk and just soaking in the tranquility and beauty of this village made this a unique experience and a welcome break for the visitors who were used to the fast paced life of Pune and Mumbai. YHAI also gifted books and computers to the schools and buoyed by the success of his maiden venture has promised many more tourist groups in future.