Tamil Nadu, which is famous for rich culture, history, heritage and temples amongst others, is looking at strengthening tourism infrastructure in the state. “We are going to have Investors Summit in 2019 where tourism is also one of the segments. We are expecting Rs 3000 crore to Rs 4000 crore worth MoU singed for tourism,” Apurva Varma, Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism, Culture and Religious Endowments Department, Govt of Tamil Nadu said while responding to a question to Tamil Nadu Tourism Minister Vellamandi N.Natarajan. The state tourism department is looking at strengthening infrastructure, good roads, signages and toilets at major destinations across the state, Varma added. The state has 5 UNESCO sites and 4 international airports.
Along with the focus on infrastructure, Tamil Nadu Tourism is also focusing on marketing and promotions of the tourism products in overseas and domestic markets. “We have been making our presence felt in overseas. We are present here at World Travel Market London under India Tourism pavilion for the first time with 8 stakeholders. We are realizing that coming under the larger umbrealla is beneficial. We are aggressively thinking participating in big events and also organize roadshows in domestic market,” Verma informed.
Tamil Nadu has been the top destination in terms of domestic domestic tourist visits. “We have been standing first for the last 3 years for domestic tourist visits as well as foreign tourist visits in India. We are hopeful to stand 1st again this year,” Varma opined and said that the Europe, Canada and South East Asia is good market for us from overseas. “We welcomed 5 million foreign tourists last year,” he informed.
Replying to a question about destinations and circuits that the state government is planning to promote aggressively, Verma said that the focus of the state is to promote spiritual circuits in the state. “Basically, we are promoting spiritual circuits in Tamil Nadu. We have 35,000 temples and some major temples drawing large number of devotees are Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, Ramanathaswamy Temple in Rameswaram, Thillai Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram, Brihadeswara Temple in Thanjavur and Kapaleeshwarar Temple in Chennai among many others. Spiritual tourism is the major trend,” he said andadded that the state is the safest place for women.
The state tourism is also using digital platform to promote its tourism products. “We are using digital platform but we need to enhance it further. We have a vibrant website. We want to have a focused digital marketing strategy,” he said.