Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: Drop the office files, turn off cell phone, and leave domestic problems at home. It’s time to take a minute to enjoy cool breeze, according to V. Irai Anbu, Tamil Nadu Tourism and Culture Department Secretary.

At a discussion hosted by the Public Sector PR Forum recently, Mr. Irai Anbu said the best way to lead a stress-free life is to set apart time for tours and travel with no strings attached, and that means disconnecting the laptop and getting out of the house for some fresh air.

Today, life has become hectic, he said, and people have become preoccupied with work deadlines and troubles at home. But he says it’s important for people to “get away” to relax because humans, by nature, crave a change of scenery. “Human beings always get bored,” he said.

“We receive the same phone calls, see the same people, and soon we feel nauseated.”

Travel also enhances a person’s individuality, Mr. Irai Anbu said. The knowledge a person gains from interacting with new people and seeing different places gives them better understanding of the world. “A person who travels a lot will always be mature and feel secure,” he said.

At the same time, he said people should not approach travel as if it were a history lesson or research, because even setting an agenda for a trip only makes a person more exhausted. Travellers should approach all vacations with an open mind, he added.

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Moreover, travel may not even require a great deal of planning: Mr. Irai Anbu said people can take a short tour within Tamil Nadu itself, anytime they find a free weekend. Travel within the State has become easier now through Hop-on, Hop-off air conditioned tour buses.

M. Rajaram, I.A.S. Managing Director, Tamil Nadu Tourism, said tourism in Tamil Nadu is flourishing, and the State has become the second most popular destination for foreign tourists coming to India. He said the rich heritage, beautiful beaches, hill stations, and temple architecture have attracted people to Tamil Nadu.

However, he added that tourism here lacks cleanliness and friendliness, which the Tamil Nadu Department of Tourism is trying to work on through tree-planting projects and solicitation of the private sector to fill the gaps the government cannot fill.

“Tourism cannot be promoted by one party alone. It requires all,” he concluded.

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