TAMIL NADU

Tuticorin Port Trust brings out cruise tourism package

TUTICORIN, MARCH 11 . At a time when tourism potential of Tuticorin and nearby districts is yet to be tapped fully, the Tuticorin Port Trust (TPT) has come out with a Tuticorin-based cruise tourism package.

The Port Trust, in association with the State Tourism Department, has released a video compact disc (VCD) depicting tourist spots accessible from the port, in a bid to woo foreign tourists coming by cruise vessels.

The 20-minute-long VCD gives a vivid description of scenic spots in Kanyakumari, the ancient Padmanabhapuram Palace, the Krishnapuram Temple near Tirunelveli, Courtallam Falls, Kodaikanal, and temples in Rameswaram, Madurai and Thanjavur.

Besides, the architectural splendours in Tuticorin district too had a slot in the VCD.

Speaking to The Hindu , N. K. Raghupathy, chairman, TPT, said, ``it's basically an exercise to promote cruise tourism through the port, by packaging the port and tourism destinations around it. We had started circulating the CDs among cruise tour operators across the world to attract more luxury cruise liners to the port,'' he said, adding that the port recently held a discussion with Sea Trade, a renowned US-based cruise tour promoter, to explore new avenues in cruise tourism.

This apart, the TPT, along with Mumbai, Mormugoa, Cochin and New Mangalore port trusts, all constituent members of Centralised Marketing Appartus (CMA), a committee formed by the Centre for development of cruise tourism in the country, has recently brought out a brochure, featuring the tourist spots around these ports.

Mr. Raghupathy said the CMA would be represented at the forthcoming international cruise conference at Miami in the US.

The CMA would promote the entire package under a common brand `Coastal India Cruises', which will do a world of good for the Tuticorin port too, in particular.

Cruise liner terminal

On the possibility of establishing a separate international terminal for cruise liners here, Mr Raghupathy said, ``we might go for one in the future, depending on the volume of arrivals''.

Tourism experts opined that if the cruise tourism package of TPT succeeded, it would help to generate employment opportunities in the places covered under the programme, apart from bringing foreign exchange to the national exchequer.