IRCTC's international tours hit with Punekars
International tours organised by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) have evoked a favourable response from Punekars. According to IRCTC officials, more than 50 per cent of the bookings are coming from the city.
With the programmes gaining popularity, IRCTC has also planned to start Australia and New Zealand tour package besides the existing ones for Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
IRCTC’s additional general manager Rahul Himalian said, “Tour packages for Dubai and Thailand got an encouraging reaction from Pune, with more than half the bookings coming from here. IRCTC rates are lower compared to those of private operators, and there are no hidden costs. Hence, tourists prefer our packages.”
“IRCTC has plans of business diversification. As compared to Rs 3 crore in 2008, we are confident of crossing the Rs 100-crore mark this year in international tour packages. IRCTC has again announced trips to Dubai and Thailand, which will start on August 17 for three nights and four days. A similar package is planned for October 16, which will be for four nights and five days,” he said.
On the other hand, Harsha Shah, chairperson of Railway Pravasi Group, demanded that instead of focusing on elite commuters, IRCTC should give precedence to the common man, who provides the major share of revenues to the railways.
“IRCTC should, in partnership with tourism departments of other countries, offer more discounted tour packages, which will benefit the middle-class commuters,” she said.