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Building Temple Ties To Boost Tourism

There are an estimated 34,000 temples in Tamil Nadu. Neighbouring Andhra Pradesh attracts more than 50,000 visitors a day through the famous Venkateswara temple in Tirupati. Now, the two states which currently draw the maximum number of tourists to the country have joined hands to increase the rate of arrivals.

While Andhra Pradesh draws the most domestic tourists in the country, Tamil Nadu is ranked the top state in attracting the maximum number of foreign tourists due to the efforts of the government over the last four years, V Irai Anbu, secretary for tourism and Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) chairman, said on Monday.

Speaking at the signing of an MoU between both the states, he pointed out that the initiative had paved the way for tourists taking the TTDC’s trips to arrange package tours to Andhra Pradesh thereby giving them a 15% discount. Places of tourist importance in Andhra Pradesh would be promoted at TTDC offices and hotels while the same would be done by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) as well.

Previously, Tamil Nadu had entered into similar promotional arrangements with Sikkim, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa. According to APTDC vice-chairman and managing director Sandeep Kumar Sultania, Tamil Nadu was the tenth state with which Andhra Pradesh had entered into an understanding.

Sources from the department said that this MoU could be the first step in arranging a pan-South Indian package tourism drive. Though it had been attempted earlier, officials from the department said it had failed to take off. However, A Chittaranjan Mohandoss, director for tourism and MD for TTDC, appeared to be taking it one step at a time by saying that the initiative had paved the way by opening up all the tourist destinations in one state.

“Previously, we did not really have a link with our counterparts in Andhra Pradesh and were only running package tours to Tirupati. Now, we can send tourists to every part of Andhra Pradesh, thanks to the MoU. There is a lot of scope for growth for both states under this initiative,” he said.

India Times

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