To tap potential for promoting travel in central, southern region

The first Travel Mart to promote the tourism potential of central and southern districts would be held in the city on Sunday.

Air India Express would host the event, in association with Tamil Nadu Tourism Board, Puducherry Tourism Board and Malaysian Tourism Board. The travel mart is planned on the lines of the one held in Kerala to put the city and its neighbouring districts in the international tourism map.

The event would seek to tap the potential for promoting out-bound and in-bound tourism and travel in central and southern region of the State, taking into account the industrial and business development in the regions in recent years. With the establishment of IT Parks in Tiruchi, Madurai and elsewhere and the opening of new industrial units, there was big scope for increase in air travel, observed T.H.Radhakrishnan, Station Manager, Air India, Tiruchi.

The meet would highlight the scope for promoting the leisure, heritage, medical and educational tourism in the central and southern districts. It would also discuss the infrastructure and promotional measures that were required to be put in place, roping in the support of the government agencies. For instance, issue of visas on arrival at Malaysia would help tourists. The meet would discuss the need for taking up the issue with the Mayalsian government. Similarly, steps to improve the infrastructure in Tiruchi and its region such as convention centres and tourism infrastructure at Rockfort, Srirangam, Thanjavur, Kumbakonam, the Navagraha shetras, Velankanni, Kodaikanal, and other places would be discussed. Meanwhile, a delegation of 15 members comprising travel agents, tour operators, officials of Malaysian Tourism Board and Air India, Malaysia, would arrive here on Wednesday on a four-day familiarisation trip ahead of the travel mart. Apart from Air India Express, the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation and the Puducherry Tourism Board are also supporting the visit.

The delegation would visit tourism and heritage centres in Madurai, Tiruchi, Puducherry, Thanjavur, Velankanni and Nagore to explore the potential for tourism promotion. They would interact with government officials, representatives of industry bodies such as the Confederation of Indian Industry, tour operators, travel agents, the hospitality industry and other stakeholders before participating in the Travel Mart to be held in the city. The meet would be addressed by the Commissioner of Tourism, Tamil Nadu, Director of Puducherry Tourism, representatives of Malaysian-Indian Travel Agents Association, senior officials from the government and Air India, apart from representatives of the travel industry.

The Travel Mart would also aim at attracting more flights to the city, Mr.Radhakrishnan said. Currently 58 international flights to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Colombo are being operated from Tiruchi, besides, 28 domestic flights. In view of increase in number of airlines operating, competitive fares were available for travellers. Tiruchi also had the potential to become the second major international airport in Tamil Nadu, next to Chennai, he said.

  • Steps to improve infrastructure in Tiruchi and surrounding areas to be discussed

  • The mart aims at encouraging and attracting more flights to the city