Focus shifts to niche package tourism

Published Dec 8, 2013, 7:26 pm IST
Updated Jan 20, 2016, 3:22 pm IST
Tamil Nadu to promote seasonal tourism to promote India as a 365-day destination.
Picture for representational purpose only.
 Picture for representational purpose only.
ChennaiThe Union Tourism Ministry has initiated the pr­o­cess of identifying and promoting nascent and upcoming niche travel packages like golf, polo, cruise, adventure, MICE, development of camp si­tes, caravan tourism, be­s­ides film tourism, to sho­wcase India as round-the-year destination. 
Tamil Nadu, too, is fast catching up with this idea and is planning to take up similar initiatives. This move, sources say, will help overcome the problem of ‘seasonality’ to promote India as a 365-day destination. Hen­ce luring tourists, particularly foreigners, with specific interests and thereby encouraging rep­eat visits would provide more visibility to the co­u­ntry at global level, it is reasoned.
“As far as foreign tou­rists are concerned, an added dimension is that his or her spending will augment the foreign exchange income. And attracting high-end business travelers will also bring in benefits to the tourism sector,” a senior tourism official here said. The high-end business travelers ( for MICE, that is,  Meetings Incen­tives, Conventions and Exhibitions) could most invariably turn into the high spending adventure, sports and leisure tourists, he added.
Efforts are on to promo­te high-end tourism in the state by encouraging adventure tourism, cru­ise tourism, chartered flights and caravan services. “These are in nascent stage and would be developed along with ot­her niche sectors such as golf, polo and billiards,” a TTDC official said and added that tourism sector has the potential to become a key driver of inclusive economic gro­wth.
The recent move by the Union home ministry to liberalise its policies and include Chennai as am­ong the important hubs for collecting landing pe­r­mits for group tourists will augur well for enha­ncing the tourist footfalls into the state.
The ministry has introduced the facility for collecting landing permits for group tourists at Che­n­nai airport and seaport besides Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hy­d­erabad, Kochi, Thir­u­va­nathapuram and Goa airports and Marm­agoa (Goa), Kochi, Calicut, Thi­r­uvananthapuram, Mumbai, Nhava Sheva, and Kolkata seaports. 
Next: Malainattu Tirupathigal’ tour to cover TN, Kerala
Malainattu Tirupathigal tour to cover TN, Kerala
Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) has introduced a new tour covering parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The five-day ‘Malainattu Tirupathigal’ covers imp­ortant places in Kochi, Thir­uvananthapuram, Ka­n­ya­ku­mari and Mad­urai and is on offer for `7,500 per person.
The tour commencing from here at 6.30 am with night halt in Coimbatore, Cochin, Trivandrum and Madurai, covers some of the Divya Desams revered by the 12 Alwars in the Divya Prabhandha — a collection of 4,000 verses in Tamil, that come in the Malainattu region. Surpr­isingly, the tour covers two Divya Desams at Thiru­vattaru and Thirup­athis­aram besides the scenic Thakkalai — all situated in Kanyakumari district, from Thiruvana­nth­a­puram in Kerala.
According to the itinerary the tour covers Thiruvithuvakodu, Thiru­navai, Guruvayur, Thiru­m­uzhikulam and Thiru­kadkarai, Cheng­ama­ch­era, Thirukadithanam, Thir­u­valla, Thiru­vanv­an­dur, Chenganur, Kutta­nadu (in Alappuzha district is known as the rice bowl of Kerala), Thiruv­arampuzha and Chen­ganur, Thakkalai, Thiruv­attaru and Thirupat­hisaram before reaching the temple city for the night’s halt.
On the fifth day, the tour traverses via Tiruchi from Madurai to reach Che­nnai. The tariff for single room accommodation is `7,200, while `6,200 is charged on shared double room accommodation and `4,900 for children aged 4 to 10 years.
The tour includes non-AC transport and non-AC acco­­mmodation, local sig­h­tseeing and guide service. For further details contact TTDC: 2538 3333, 2538 9857 and 2538 4356.
This is the first time the TTDC has introduc­ed a tour crisscrossing TN and Kerala. Tradi­tionally it has been operating south India tours for locals and NRIs besides tours for various scenic places. “We  also offer customised to­urs if the number of those opting for them are fairly large,” an official said.
Location: Tamil Nadu