The 360-degree virtual tour facility on the website of Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) is drawing tourists from the country and abroad and helping them take decisions on the places to be visited.
Introduced a year ago with 16 tourist destinations, the virtual tour facility (www.tamilnadutourism.org) has been receiving thousands of hits every day. With over six lakh visitors so far, the facility has encouraged the Department of Tourism to include more tourist destinations in the tour. Sixteen more tourists attractions were added to the virtual tour last week, said an official from the Department. From the Danish fort in Tharangambadi, and Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur, to Mangrove Forest in Pichavaram, and cave temples in Sithannavasal, the virtual tour gives the flavour of each place, with its state-of-art navigation tools.
Other places added in the list include Mammallapuram; Sri Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai; Arunachaleswarar Temple, Tiruvannamalai; Airavateswarar Temple, Darasuram; Chettinad palaces, Karaikudi; Courtrallam, Rock Fort and Srirangam, Tiruchi; Yercaud; Kolli Hills; Yelagiri and Vandalur.
Response among tourists
“While the popularity is yet to pick up among people in the State, we find that the response among tourists from other States and foreign countries is encouraging. We have been receiving calls to include newer destinations now and then.
We plan to do it in phases,” an official said.
The user-friendly zooming options, navigating directions and melodious background music help attract more visitors to the website, he added. The Department also hopes a virtual tour of Mamallapuram would reflect positively on the patronage for the Hop-on Hop-off tour, for which the number of coaches has been reduced to three from four during weekdays.
The Department has also rolled out promotional jingles in FM radio channels till August 15, as it is seen as the peak season for tourists from other States.