Chennai: Despite the apprehensions of new tax regime, GST, casting its shadows on tourism and hospitality industries, the sectors found themselves bouncing back to business and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) segment too picking up.
Tamil Nadu set a new trend in the country’s tourism when it rolled out the red carpet to tourists and succeeded in maintaining its record of being the number one state in attracting foreign and domestic tourists for three consecutive years and it has high hopes to retaining this distinction in 2018 too.
Generally, this year has been good for the tourism sector and as per the estimates of the officials, TN will turn out to be more “enchanting” for visitors.
“Tamil Nadu has rich tourism potential, rich culture and heritage. Moreover, Tamil Nadu is a happening state in India as is one of the well-developed states in the country. Spiritual tourism is also a major attraction,” said V. Palanikumar, Commissioner of Tourism and CMD, Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC).
The “cultural and sculptural values” add more charm to the domestic and foreign tourists visiting the State. What makes the state unique is that several foreign tourism boards are vying with each other in having a fair share of the MICE tourism pie of TN. Switzerland and Indonesia, for instance, hope to capitalise on the gargantuan appetite the people nurse to explore newer destinations every year.
From the hospitality industry’s standpoint, Tamil Nadu is ranked fourth among the top five states in the country in tourism rankings. Under the EK Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Tamil Nadu has tied up with Jammu & Kashmir tourism to take up joint promotion activities during 2018. While the J & K tourism authorities plan to launch a series of exhibitions showcasing their cuisine and dreamy destinations, TN will take up a blitzkrieg campaign in Jammu in March next year.
The state has sought about 31.5 million dollars from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) (over Rs 300 crore) for tourism development and a major chunk of the financial assistance would be utilised to conserve heritage buildings under the control of Archaeology Department and ancient temples of heritage value, coming under the ambit of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department.
Once the coastal tourism circuit is developed (at a cost of Rs 99 crore) covering eight places in Chennai, Kancheepuram, Ramanathapuram, Kanyakumari and Tuticorin districts, involving mostly beach development and making them attractive, besides the spiritual circuit — the Ramayana trail, TN would be on a roller coaster ride in seeing tourist activity all through the year.
According to tourism officials’ estimates, during 2017 the state is poised to exceed its own record set last year in attracting domestic and foreign tourists....