Business and Economy in Darjeeling
The Three T's of DarjeelingTourism, transport and tea are the three pillars of the economy in Darjeeling. All kinds of business activities in Darjeeling revolve around these three T’s. Yet, one has to acknowledge that they are not the sole source of income for the people of Darjeeling. Since the town is the headquarters of the Darjeeling District, many government offices as well as educational institutions too are located here. All these together have a major impact on the economy of the town.
Tourism and Economy of DarjeelingFor most people in Darjeeling, tourism is no doubt the foremost source of income. However, the phenomenon is nothing new. One has to understand that the town was a major tourist destination as early as in 1860. It is not surprising that over the years, the infrastructure has improved and now the town is in position to provide every type of amenities for the price the tourists are ready to pay.
It is a known fact that few industries are as labor intensive as tourism is and that is why its impact on the economy the place is so very significant. Darjeeling not only has hotels of different categories; there are also hordes of restaurants as well as shops to cater to the lakhs of tourists who visit the area every year. All these establishments offer employment opportunity to the local people and thus directly help to improve the economy of the place.
Tourism also helps to boost the economy in a different way. Tourists generally like to buy mementos and when they do that, they generally look for local artifacts. In this way it helps to develop the local art and improve the economic condition of the local artisans, which in turn help to boost the economy of the place. In Darjeeling too one sees everything from woolen garments to Tibetan artwork being sold not only in established shops, but also in the street corners.
Tourism in Darjeeling also helps the economy of the town in another way. It offers direct employment to guides, pony-owners as well to the taxi-owners. Indeed, the last one brings us to the second T; namely, transport. Transport is a good business in Darjeeling. Taxis and buses ply not only between New Jalpaiguri/Bagdogra and Darjeeling, but also to different tourists spots in vicinity of the Darjeeling hills. Taxis also connect the different towns as well as hamlets of the hills and if one wants to visit them, one has to avail them.
Transport and Economy of Darjeeling
Other than that, in places such as Darjeeling, all essential commodities have to be transported from the plains. Indeed, the soil here is so poor that nothing grows in this region. What is more, there are practically no resources and hence no industry could be set up in this region. Therefore, one has to depend upon the plains for every single article. Hence, the importance of transport industry cannot be diluted in anyway.
Tea Industry in DarjeelingOf course, tea is a major produce here and so are oranges. Although Darjeeling oranges are very tasty it hardly has any impact on the economy. Tea, on the other hand, is a good business here. Historically it has provided direct employment to the locals as well as to the outsiders. Moreover, it has also provided indirect employment to many more and therefore, its impact on the business as well as economy of Darjeeling is quite substantial.
Darjeeling tea estates have recently opened their doors to the tourists. Known as Tea Tourism, it allows tourists not only to stay within the estates, but also to witness the life at the plantations first hand. Many tourists come to Darjeeling for such purpose only. The Happy Valley Tea Estate, located in the vicinity from town offers incredible insight not only into the life of tea planters, but also into the process of tea manufacturing.