JAIPUR: With international tourist movement remaining frozen due to Covid-19 pandemic, Palace On Wheels is now wooing the domestic tourists by creating new itineraries and offering discounts on tickets.
The luxury train, which depends on foreign tourists, cancelled its tours in March and April, and could not start journeys in the new season starting from September this year. But a senior official in Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) said there is a plan to run the train for domestic tourists or groups for three months starting from February.
“We have created two itineraries keeping in mind the interests of the domestic tourists. We have also decided to offer 30% discount as compared to the previous rates. With a minimum booking of 27 guests for a trip, we can start the journey,” said Alok Gupta, chairman and managing director of RTDC.
For February and March, the per day rates after 30% discount come to Rs 94,248 for a couple in super deluxe cabin, Rs 52,360 and Rs 34,034 per person in single and double occupancy seats respectively.
Since April is considered as off season, rates are lower compared to February and March. The per day rates for April after 30% discount come to Rs 70,686 for a couple in super deluxe cabin, Rs 42,840 and Rs 26,180 per person in single and double occupancy seats respectively.
Another senior RTDC official said that the corporation is optimistic that there will be demand from corporate houses, schools, colleges, and socially-connected groups besides individual tourists.
Palace On Wheels is a profit making vertical of RTDC, which, in a revenue sharing arrangement, runs the train between September and April every year. Over 90% of the tourists in the 84-seat capacity train are foreign nationals or NRIs. But the pandemic has created uncertainty about the revival of foreign travel.