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Tourism on upswing in TN

After two years of pandemic and resumption of international flights, tourism has finally picked up pace in Tamil Nadu

Tour operators are receiving heavy booking requests with flights to the domestic and international destinations getting full.

Surjit Das, of Akbar Travels of India, a leading tour operator while speaking to IANS said: “Bookings are on the high for both domestic and international destinations. People from Tamil Nadu prefer to travel to Malaysia, Singapore, and the middle eastern countries. The rates to UAE and Singapore, Malayasia are on the high now.”

He, however, said that most of the north Indian domestic destinations are packed and bookings are mostly for Kulu, Manali, Srinagar, and Nainital other than New Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, and Udaipur. He said that the flight charges to these destinations have increased.

Abdul Wahab, of Kerala Tours and Travels, while speaking to IANS said: “We are getting bookings to European destinations and interestingly most of the bookings are after May and the reason is the examination of both CBSE and ICSE boards are taking place till May end. Another interesting fact is that more than upper-middle-class, we are getting bookings from the lower-middle-class.

He said that a package for seven days to Europe is costing around 2.15 lakh per person and almost all the bookings are for families inclusive of a father, mother, and two children.

There are, however, apprehensions among the tour and travel operators about the slight increase in Covid cases in New Delhi and in other parts of the country. While experts have said that the possibility of a fourth wave in the country is remote, the tour operators said that even a slight spread would bring doom to the industry that is slowly picking up.

Inbound tours to Tamil Nadu are also on the high and most of the hotels in Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, and Tiruchi were full for the past few days due to tourist inflow from North Indian states and also from the Tamil diaspora settled in Europe, the United States and in the Far Eastern countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.

Shanmughandhan, who runs the Tambaram taxi services and has a fleet of cars including ordinary and luxury cars told IANS,” The tourist season has picked up and we are getting several bookings. Our cars were not plying for the past two years due to the pandemic and the increase in tourists has suddenly boosted our revenue. We have to make good the losses of the past two years and must bring the company back on rails.”

He also however shared the apprehension about the Covid spread as New Delhi and other areas of the country witnessed a slight increase in positive cases over the past couple of days.