Tourists stay off short-haul trips aboard KSTDC's Golden Chariot

Tourists stay off short-haul trips  aboard KSTDC's Golden Chariot

The Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) has called off the short-haul weekend summer special trips aboard the luxury express train, Golden Chariot, citing poor response.

The corporation had announced the start of special trips on April 7. But it got no response in the first two weeks of April. The third week saw just two bookings which were eventually cancelled as the train didn’t take off. For May, there were just eight bookings. “Looking at the poor response and after waiting for a month, we have called off these trips,” Kumar Pushkar, Managing Director, KSTDC, told DH.

Under the scheme, the KSTDC was offering short-haul trips to Mysuru, Belur, Halebid and Shravanabelagola, Badami and Pattadakal, Hampi or Goa. It was the first time the corporation had experimented with short-haul trips for the two-month-long summer vacation.

“The idea was to help more people get a glimpse of the train. Unless people experience the train, its bookings and publicity will not increase. But it failed to catch the attention of people,” Pushkar said.

The corporation had included the Hampi trip following feedback from foreign tourists who wished to experience the train more and spend less time outside, like in the case of other luxury trains such as Palace on Wheels.

Pushkar said the KSTDC would now continue the regular package tour, Pride of South, between Bengaluru and Goa.

The corporation also got lukewarm response to the wedding and honeymoon tour offered on the luxury train. It instead got inquiries about the three-day special trip to Hampi and Badami. The KSTDC is now in talks with corporate companies to promote the train for meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE).

Special trips for schoolkids
To encourage schoolchildren to travel in the nature’s lap, the KSTDC is offering special package two-night and three-day trips to Madikeri and Mysuru from June to September, besides a day-long package tour around Bengaluru. “The three-day trip includes pick-up and drop-off, stay at a KSTDC hotel, breakfast and dinner, besides trekking on regulated trek routes in Chikkamagaluru and Kodagu,” Pushkar said.

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