Add value to packages, Indian travel agents told

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Indian travel agents and tour operators should look at value addition and prepare more itinenaries to cater to the growing, changing needs of the travelers.

This advise was given by Ms Meenakshi Sharma, Additional Director General Tourism, Government of India. She was addressing an interactive meeting of the IATO on March 1 in Delhi. She said that tourists were no longer interested in just seeing monuments, they wanted to experience things for themselves. Diversified products must be offered and value for money should be the criteria, not cheap packages.

Interestingly, Ms Sharma, who has been at the post for two years now, pointed out that many of the 60 bloggers who were on four luxury trains recently, had commented that more freedom should be given while traveling, rather than just follow a rigid itinerary.

The website of the ministry is being revamped, she said, and asked the agents to come forward with ideas for it, as well as with places where they would like air connectivity. Separate road shows will be held for the Buddhist market.

Some members complained of delay in funding of market assistance programs.

IATO president Pronab Sarkar revealed that under the ‘adopt a heritage program’, the association was taking up Mahabalipuram and Ellora for maintainence. He said that the recent Bharat Parv Festival was a great success with domestic tourism promotion and should be held every year.

yahoo