Udhagamandalam: Exploitation of tourism for short term gains will affect the sector’s long term interests. To drive home this message, the Department of Tourism organised a workshop for autorickshaw and taxi drivers here on Friday.
Explaining the objectives of the workshop to The Hindu, the Tourist Officer, A. Venugopal, said that it was to familiarise various sections of society with the requirements of the tourism industry.
The department was going all out to attract more foreign and domestic tourists to the state, he said and added that concepts like rural tourism, adventure tourism and eco tourism were being promoted in a big way.
In order to ensure that the tourists returned with only pleasant memories, the department was now in the process of teaching drivers and hotel employees on how to treat tourists as their own guests.
On no account should anyone take the tourists for a ride.
He added that a series of workshops would be conducted. Addressing the beneficiaries the National Service Scheme Programme Officer, Azhagar Ramanujam, said that since autorickshaw and taxi drivers were among those who had direct contact with the tourists, they should always remember that their behaviour had a direct bearing on the reputation of this holiday destination.
“You are the face of Ooty so you should be very careful,” he said.
Among those who provided the participants with valuable tips were former English Professor, Government Arts College, D. Krishnaraj; Regional Manager, Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation, Anandan; manager, Boat House, Raveendran; and the manager, Hotel Tamil Nadu, Imayavarman.
The Regional Transport Officer, R. Rajinikanth, administered an oath to the drivers.