Chennai: The 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.
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