Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will soon launch a unique ‘Tourist Facilitation Centre’ in the heart of the national capital, seeking to make it a ‘one-stop shop’ for all tourism-related services.
To be located in Connaught Place, the centre will offer a string of rail, land and air tour packages for domestic and international travellers, taking care of their itineraries u2014 from air ticket to visa facilitation and insurance, and from special train packages to customised tours, food to accommodation, and cab and concierge services to sightseeing.
“This will be the first of its kind initiative for tourists where the entire travel needs are taken care of under one roof. This is also the only brick-and-mortar office of the IRCTC where people can walk in to buy a train or air travel package and even get a customised trip as per their convenience,” Chairman and Managing Director, IRCTC A K Manocha, said.
The centre, to be launched shortly, will be unique as it would facilitate a direct public interface, he added.
IRCTC, a 16-year-old ‘mini Ratna’ PSU of Indian Railways, had introduced e-ticketing in 2002 through its digital platform. The average daily sale of train tickets through the portal is around 5.5 to 6 lakh.
The facilitation centre will handle all special train packages of IRCTC such as Bharat Darshan, pilgrim trains (Tirupati, Shirdi, Buddhist circuits), the north-east, Kerala and Goa. In addition, there are air packages for Jammu and Kashmir, Shirdi and Tirupati.
When we announced recently Jammu and Kashmir and Shirdi air travel packages from Delhi, these were completely sold out. Likewise, the Tirupati package got a booking of 80 per cent almost immediately, he said.
IRCTC claims that these packages are popular as the entire needs and concerns of tourists are taken care of by IRCTC. For example, the Tirupati package from Delhi comprises air ticket, AC coach from Chennai to Tirupati, 4 star hotel accommodation, food and VIP darshan.
IRCTC also provides outbound packages. “We have already announced tour packages from Chennai for Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Plans are underway to provide similar packages from Delhi,” Manocha said.
The centre will cater to the travel requirements of ministries, government departments and PSUs, besides clients in the corporate sector. It will also facilitate air tickets, accommodation and sightseeing for foreign delegates or students visiting India on exchange programmes.