The website now has over one lakh visitors every month

CHENNAI: Easy navigation and the aesthetic and functional design of its website have helped Tamil Nadu Tourism Corporation popularise online booking for its schemes.

The online bookings generated business worth Rs.1.30 crore in 2008-2009, a 25 per cent increase in the revenue from the same stream the previous fiscal. Launched in 2004, the website now has over one lakh visitors every month. “There is a steady increase in the quantum of bookings year after year. Online bookings have seen a good patronage from beginning of this financial year and we expect it to go up further during peak season,” said an official, in charge of TTDC website www.ttdconline.com.

Occupancy level in all the 54 TTDC hotels and other TTDC outlets through online bookings has reached 65 per cent. Cashing in on the growing popularity, TTDC will begin issuing gold and platinum membership cards online shortly, he said. The card holders would get 20 per cent discounts at all TTDC hotels.

Help desk, an online customer care centre for tourists, receives 150 mails every day. “We make sure all the mails are responded to. The mails would usually be questions about various locations, accommodation facilities there and distance between one tourist spot and another,” the official said.

As much as 50 per cent of the bookings for the Hop-on Hop-off Chennai-Mahabalipuram tour are made online. The eight-day Tamil Nadu tour of TTDC tops the list of favourites among the tourists and enjoy the highest patronage than all other packages, he said. Since 2004, tourists from 70 countries, including Spain, U.S., Australia, Singapore, China and Dubai have accessed the website and booked tours online.

The online management system, which was launched a year ago, monitors the status of patronage for various schemes and occupancy of TTDC properties across the State.

Another reason that is cited for the popularity of online booking is the hassle-free cancellation of the bookings too, he said. The Tamil version of another website of TTDC www.taminadutourism.org was recently launched.