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Focus shifts to niche package tourism

DC | J.V. Siva Prasanna Kumar | December 08, 2013, 13.56 pm IST
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


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