Published on : Saturday, July 1, 2017
According to a spokesperson of the Chennai tourism department, “The tourism department does not have a dedicated team o look exclusively at international visitors. Tourist wardens consisting of teams of ex-servicemen have been formed in Mamallapuram, Rameswaram and Kanyakumari.” “The department has developed tourism amenities around popular temples in Namakkal and Theni. Authorities can even fix a tariff for using toilets but what is needed is hygienic, standardized restrooms. We should have country-specific our programmes,” Travel-XS Founder and CEO J Sethuraman said. Culture and heritage are the core strengths of Chennai tourism.
Although there are foreign travellers exploring the state since 2014, it does not really paint a happy picture of Tamil Nadu’s tourism growth. Industry experts said the state tourism department is not keeping pace with an increasing number of international visitors by increasing facilities. Inadequate basic infrastructure including wayside amenities for travellers, poorly structured promotions like country-specific tour products and ineffective integration of stakeholders have together acted against expansion of the state’s tourist base. Regular visits by ethnic Indians of Tamil origin, who form about 40% of all foreign travellers touring the state, are one of the major factors that help sustain the state as a top-notch destination in the international tourist category.
According to K Pandian, president of the state chapter of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), lack of toilets and other public amenities along highways is one of the biggest problems in attracting international tourists. Another problem is the lack of attention to promotion of Tamil Nadu as a tourism destination in other countries.