India Offers ‘Poll Tourism’ Packages for Overseas Visitors

Published on : Saturday, March 15, 2014

Overseas-VisitorsTo benefit from upcoming Lok Sabha elections, tour operators are presenting special ‘poll tourism’ packages for overseas visitors for overseas visitors.


Poll tourism packages ranges between $1,200 and $1,800 per person for a six-night-seven-day trip (including food, stay, transportation and a few activities) including visit to key tourist attractions in India with attending political rallies, interacting with representatives of political parties.


Owner of Akshar Travels and chairman of the Gujarat Tourism Development Society, Manish Sharma, have signed a contract with about 60 tour operators across the country, and some in Paris, Amsterdam, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, London, Beijing, Tokyo, etc, to promote “poll tourism”.

Sharma said that the ‘poll tourism’ packages were promoted at ITB Berlin (Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin), and they already received about 800 enquiries for the election tourism package, of which London, Ukraine, Beijing, Singapore and parts of France accounted for most of these enquiries.


They have also spoken to all major political parties in the country and the parties express their support of the initiative.


The tour operators’ team has also approached the Election Commission of India to ask for approval for foreign tourists to visit poll booths. Yet, it hasn’t got an approval so far.

Until now, most enquiries relate to the Delhi-Agra-Jaipur trip. The tour decided upon include Delhi-Agra-Jaipur, Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur, Ahmedabad-Rajkot-Gondal, Dwarka-Porbandar-Sasan-Gir, Lucknow-Ayodhya-Varanasi, Delhi-Shimla-Manali-Chandigarh, Mathura-Agra-Haridwar-Rishikesh-Delhi, Cochin-Munnar-Thekkady, Guwahati-Kaziranga-Shillong and Gangtok-Lachen-Peling.


Sharma’s team had tried the similar during the 2012 state Assembly elections too in a very short time and managed to draw about 90 foreign tourists.


This time about 2,000 visitors are expected, especially from areas like Egypt and the Gulf, where people are not familiar with a democratic process of electing leaders.




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