The railways is formulating a policy to promote tourism by connecting tourist spots across the country through trains. The policy, a first-of-its-kind exercise by the railways, aims at hassle-free and seamless movement of people across different tourist places. Seeking suggestions from stakeholders, the public and other bodies concerned, the public transporter has circulated a draft tourism policy.
“Tourism will be one of the frontline activities with the railways and the scope will be increased by focusing on domestic and international tourists and by making value-addition to tourism products, especially designed for this segment,” the draft said.
Since tourist trains have special fares, the railways can position itself to generate substantial revenue focusing on international and domestic tourists by launching more such services. The infrastructure on railways can be leveraged for launching a diverse range of products and services to ensure bright business prospects with adequate profitability.
The aim is to operate more trains connecting tourist destinations and also by providing special train services ranging from luxury to budget sections, a railway ministry official involved with tourism and catering said.
Currently, many tourist spots have limited connectivity. The Railways will offer luxury tourist trains, semi-luxury tourist trains, Buddhist special train, Bharat Darshan trains and Astha circuit trains, to attract domestic and international tourists.
It will also offer State Tirth trains, flexi-package tourist trains, ordinary tourist trains, hill tourist trains, steam tourist trains, value-added tour package and a foreign tourist quota. IRCTC, the tourism arm of the railways, will position itself as a one-stop-shop for all the requirements of both domestic and international tourists.
The draft tourism policy has been posted on the official website of the Indian Railways.