Bengaluru

Golden Chariot bears good tidings for Karnataka tourism

The ticket rate has been reduced to ₹ 25,000 a person for Indians this year, down from ₹30,000 last year.

The ticket rate has been reduced to ₹ 25,000 a person for Indians this year, down from ₹30,000 last year.   | Photo Credit: M.A. SRIRAM

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South India’s only luxury train, which can accommodate 88 people, is booked to capacity on its Dasara trip

The Dasara holidays this year are expected to give a much-needed boost to Karnataka tourism, with the State’s luxury train, The Golden Chariot, booked to capacity on its second trip closer to the festival date.

The Golden Chariot, a joint venture between the Karnataka government and the Railway Ministry, has 44 luxury cabins that can accommodate 88 people. A typical journey on this train is a seven-night package tour of South India, which has traditionally averaged an occupancy rate of 33%.

However, with the grand Mysuru Dasara celebrations set to be held from September 21 to September 30, the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) has scheduled two short-haul Dasara special trips this year, each of two nights and a day: one from September 23 to 25, and the second from September 29 to October 1. The corporation also reduced the ticket rate to ₹ 25,000 a person for Indians this year, down from ₹30,000 last year.

The package is inclusive of accommodation, meals, sight-seeing, and Mysuru Palace events.

“While the response to the September 23 trip has been lukewarm, the September 29 trip is full. Most people who have booked are from Bengaluru, and some are from New Delhi. One reason why so many Indians have booked the Dasara special could be the price, which is much lower than what it costs for our other trips [nothing below ₹1.8 lakh on a single occupancy basis],” said KSTDC Managing Director Kumar Pushkar.

Holiday season

State tourism prospects usually pick up around Dasara, when the festivities attract a large number of tourists from North India. But last year, unrest over the Cauvery dispute had dampened tourist inflow, besides causing the cancellation of four of the five Golden Chariot trips planned around Dasara. But given the positive response to the Dasara specials this year, the Tourism Department is hoping for a revival of sorts as the holiday season comes around.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 5:02:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/golden-chariot-bears-good-tidings-for-karnataka-tourism/article19696756.ece

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