Local package tours not viable in Tiruchi: operators

Rockfort City is a much sought-after tourist destination, thanks to the presence of historical monuments and temples. However, local tourist operators are cool to the idea of conducting local package tours.

There are several reasons. Topping the list is the practice of visitors from far-off places to connect online with local tourist guides. This way they not only enjoy flexibility of time, but also overcome the language barrier, manager of a local tour operator said.

Another factor is the presence of famous temples such as Srirangam, Rockfort, Tiruvanaikovil and Samayapuram within a radius of 10 km. In order to be commercially viable, any local tourism package must be for the entire day. But visits to these places can be completed within half-a-day, tour operators point out.

Reasons why the State Tourism department too has not been able to revive the ‘Bed and Breakfast/Home Establishments’ scheme promoted by the Union Ministry of Tourism.

A similar initiative launched in Tiruchi in 2005-06 had to be abandoned since the quality of houses identified for the purpose did not match up to specific standards in terms of food, quality, privacy and safety. “The concept of local package tourism does not seem practical in Tiruchi,” a senior official of the Tourism department said.

But then, the number of visitors from the region making a beeline to tourist hubs in other States has been growing over the years. Tour operators in the district say they are able to see wanderlust catching up with people.

With senior citizens wanting to visit places of religious importance in the north, tour operators in the district are arranging pilgrimages to Nepal, Kasi, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangothri, Yamunothri and Rajasthan.

The younger generation, on the other hand, are opting for package tours to visit places such as Goa, Shimla and Andaman, according to a tour operator.

In order to be commercially viable, any local tourism package must be for the entire dayTourist operators,Tiruchi

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