Tamil Nadu tourism needs to go beyond temple tourism

Published on : Friday, August 8, 2014

Tamil-Nadu-tourism-logo-300x54Tamil Nadu may have crowned in enticing domestic tourists and rated second in drawing overseas tourists but the state government is yet to tap this potential to translate the visits into revenue.


The government is yet to include the private sector; and promotion has not gone beyond temple tourism.


In nearby states, brand building by the government and investment by the private sector has generated jobs and benefitted communities.

The policy note for 2012-13 listed “adventure tourism, niche tourism (golf, billiards, polo and skiing), cruise tourism, ecotourism, sea tourism (sea planes, aeroplanes, hovercraft)” as new segments.


Even the more convincing ideas relating to ecotourism and adventure tourism have taken off.

Room occupancy has decreased. TTDC’s profits have declined from 16.3% in 2012-13 to 11.9% in 2013-14 though there is a marginal increase in turnover, which officials say was mainly from income from exhibitions and sale in restaurOn the other hand, Tamil Nadu tourism’s marketing inventiveness are limited to advertisements about Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) hotels and tours on Google and messages on mobile phones and Facebook, according to plans for 2014-15 set out in the policy note on tourism, presented in the state legislature on Tuesday. Brand promotion includes a plan to involve brand ambassadors but the government has not fixed a time limit for the initiative.

ants and bars at its hotels.

According to experts the government should brand the state, and let private entrepreneurs to invest and create an environment sensitive to the needs of tourists. UN World Tourism Organisation has spelt out community development as a goal for tourism promotion.

UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai said in his world tourism day message, “Each time we travel, use local transport or buy products from a local market, we are contributing to a value chain that creates jobs, provides livelihoods, empowers local communities, and ultimately brings in new opportunities for a better future.”

Tourists who visit Tamil Nadu are at a loss for connectivity and clear information.
Tourism assistance booths are not run efficiently at airports, bus stands and railway stations.

M.K. Ajith Kumar, president, Asia Pacific Tours said, ”In the domestic circuit, most tourists will be pilgrims.


The stress on temples sometimes bores foreign tourists.


The government should focus on promoting different spots and allow private players a stake instead of trying to control the sector.”


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