Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Tourism Department will launch new package tours through the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC), catering to varied interests of tourists, besides upgrading infrastructure at tourist spots.

Briefing reporters after launching TTDC’s 27-Star temple package tour, Tourism and Registration Department Minister N. Suresh Rajan said the aim of the Government and the TTDC was to upgrade infrastructure facilities to woo more domestic and overseas tourists. “Presently, Tamil Nadu is ranked number 2 and we are striving hard to take the State to the number one position by launching several tourism-friendly initiatives and creating better amenities matching global standards.”

New tour

The Minister said the TTDC had placed orders for purchasing 4 mini 18-seater airconditioned coaches at a cost of Rs.72 lakh to introduce “hop-on-hop-off” tour from Chennai to Mamallapuram, a world heritage site.

“The specially designed fibre-glass topped luxury bus will provide clear view of tourist spots, enabling overseas visitors to film or take pictures from inside the moving bus. We are gearing up to launch this hop-on-hop-off tour to Mamallapuram coinciding with Pongal festivity in January next year.”

The Minister said efforts were on to open the annual Tourist and Industrial Trade Fair on Island Grounds by December-end itself.

State Tourism and Culture Secretary V. Irai Anbu said the Government would continue to play the role of a facilitator in its endeavour to upgrade tourism-related infrastructure.