In order to promote tourism in the Northeast region of India, Sikkim makes a foray into better connectivity. An airport in Pakyong, only 35km away from the capital city of Gangtok, will be ready by December 2016. Better road  connectivity is also on the cards for the region, in order to make travels safer and faster. The announcement was made at the 4th International Tourism Mart (ITM), a premier travel event, which was planned to bring focus on the northeastern states of India and West Bengal. With ample untapped travel opportunities in the region, this decision was imperative. Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Tourism and Culture (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation re-iterated in his speech that the region has great potential for tourism as it is rich in natural beauty, cultural heritage and is also the cleanest region of India. Pegged as being one of the most ideal tourist states, Sharma ended with a positive vision for Sikkim and the neighbouring states.