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News Entry# 71531  
May 04 2012 (5:54AM)  Railway tourist packages big hit (www.deccanchronicle.com)

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News Entry# 71531     
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Posted by: rdb**  82824 news posts  
IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) has received never like before patronage for its special RTP (rail tourist packages) this summer.According to senior IRCTC officials, nearly 100 per cent rise in patronage has been witnessed ever since the corporation introduced value additions even while cutting down the cost marginally in April.Officials attribute the increased patronage to introduction of cost sharing between different groups of passengers for local transport from railway stations to tourist destinations.The quality of service was also enhanced in the interim, officials said citing as example the provision of an air-conditioned MUV to two small families under ‘standard’ category instead of a non-AC hatchback car to a single family in the past.As per RTP, standard category passengers are those who travel in second-class sleeper tickets.RTPs connecting Chennai to tourist hotspots like Ooty, Kodaikanal, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari and Mysore are a big hit, officials pointed out.Another major reason for...
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the overwhelming patronage this year was the scheduling of the rail tours during weekends.For instance, a family or a passenger opting to tour to Kanyakumari or Ooty would start by Thursday evening and spend the weekend in the tourist destination and return to the capital early Monday morning.The cost has come down by even Rs 1,200 in some packages; officials noted admitting that the occupancy and patronage was not so good in the previous year or rather the months before introduction of value additions ahead of this summer.“I have never seen such occupancy rate and patronage for rail tour packages from Chennai like this year,” another senior IRCTC official said adding that their value additions and cost-sharing exercises have begun paying dividends.
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