Kerala-bound Rajdhani Express painted in the beautiful colours of its beaches, backwaters and enchanting art forms went on its inaugural journey on Sunday, hoping to catch the eyeballs of potential domestic tourists as the train snakes its way to Thiruvananthapuram and back.

“Eventually, we hope to convert these eyeballs into footfalls,” Kerala Tourism Secretary V. Venu said here, at the inaugural run of the Thiruvananthapuram-bound Rajdhani from the Hazrat Nizamuddin station in the presence of Union Tourism Minister Kumari Selja.

Wrapping the country’s fastest train in the new livery is part of Kerala Tourism’s efforts to woo domestic tourists, starting with those from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka — states that fall on the Rajdhani’s route.

The train, having a new tag line, ‘Chalo Kerala’ in Hindi and ‘Go Kerala’ in English, will journey through the heart of India for a period of six months and is to continue until June 2010. The train is expected to reach around 85,000 commuters who throng the railway platforms everyday along the route.

According to the data available with Kerala Tourism, domestic tourist arrivals to Kerala last year touched 75 lakh (against 7.5 lakh international tourists).

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