Friday, April 07, 2006

No-hassles package deals from ITDC

Indian tourism is on a roll. I read about the latest foreign tourist inflow figures and was astounded. There has been a similar increase in number of Indians traveling inside India. While the good thing about all this is that a lot more revenue is coming in and it helps millions of people who depend on tourism for survival, the inevitable fallout is that most of the commercial tourist spots are cramped and becoming nasty.

One thing that you can’t refuse is that some of the Indian tourists are crude and far less cultured than people from other countries. I recently saw a news clip about the animals in zoos in the North-East of the country being tortured by tourists. Similarly, I had a hard time negotiating all the spit inside world famous monuments in Agra (including Taj Mahal) where shoes were not allowed. I wonder why we can’t enforce no-spitting policies inside all these heritage monuments, if not whole of cities, particularly in North India. I mean, how difficult really can it be to respect such places of historic importance?

That aside, it’s great to see Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) taking serious efforts to develop tourism of India. After reading this news clip, I recently took a package trip offered by ITDC/Andhra Pradesh TDC to Tirumala, Tirupathi and was mighty impressed by the whole thing. Not only was the package structured economically, the planning was professional.

Visiting Tirumala, the second richest religious place in the world, used to be a whole big costly deal earlier. The last time when I visited was six years back and I remember booking rooms days in advance, with a whole lot of people and so-called guides confusing you by pouring all sorts of unwanted information regarding accomodation, waiting for hours in jam packed queues that were half a mile long, and traveling in shabby and creaky buses that sounded ominous.

The whole thing has been simplified to a great extent. This time around, a ‘darshan’ package cost us about Rs. 950, and we were taken from Chennai (I heard the same package is available in other big cities in South India) early in the morning in a neat brand-new Volvo bus. We were provided breakfast and lunch in neat air conditioned hotels, and all the entrance, ‘laddu’ and other special tickets were a part of the package. The planning was perfect. It was as easy as paying the ticket and letting everything aside to those organizers. In all, it was a hassle-free ‘darshan’ and there was absolutely no head-ache anywhere. Great work ITDC!

Verdict: Highly recommended.

7 Comments:

At Saturday, April 08, 2006 3:38:00 PM, Blogger scipio said...

It really is great to see that Indian tourism is growing. We people are sitting on a virtual (cultural) goldmine and are yet to fully exploit it. Just take a look at Dubai... What have they got to offer in comparison to India? Yet they promote tourism so well and are very much a tourism hot spot. All said, I really appreciate ITDC's latest initiative "Aththi Devo Bhava". It is the right kind of message to convey to fellow Indians...

 
At Monday, April 10, 2006 4:21:00 PM, Blogger Common Man said...

My Family too went from blore in an ITDC Pkg tour to Tirupati and they too were all praise for the same.

 
At Tuesday, April 11, 2006 9:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Govar,

You are right..
It's a hassle free dharshan..
No tensions...no queues...no confusions...
I have also gone twice through this package...
It was a great...
Regards,
Girish

 
At Wednesday, April 12, 2006 6:58:00 PM, Blogger God Krishna said...

guess indian tourism is truly coming off age but still has quite some distance to reach before it is considered international quality...

 
At Wednesday, April 12, 2006 10:03:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

@Scipio: Neat point. I think they showcase shopping as the basis for tourism. And yeah, it's a great possibility when coupled along with our own heritage stuff that's avaialble nowhere else in the world.

 
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At Monday, September 24, 2007 12:16:00 PM, Blogger amitsinha said...

Dear Grover,

Thanks for the good article. can u plz also tell us, how to book the tcikets of ITDC from chennai . I want to travel this week.
u can email me also at amit_sinha62@yahoo.com
Regards,
Amit

 

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