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Enchanting and enterprising Tamil Nadu

TN Global Investors Meet - Curtain Raisers

TAMIL NADU is the top destination for tourists both domestic and foreign. The tourism department with its motto ‘All seasons, all budget tourist destination,’ takes liberal recourse to technology; the e-governance initiatives of the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) have been way ahead of other states.

 

Rich heritage...

Tourist attractions of Tamil Nadu are many splendoured: the rich heritage of the Tamils spanning 20 centuries provides numerous attractions for heritage tourism. One can’t easily count the temples in and around Kanchipuram or Kumbakonam, each with its own beauty.

Temple architecture in the present form had its origin with the Pallava kings who ruled in the seventh century. Mamallapuram near Chennai, bears testimony to the excellence reached in sculpture , architecture, literature, philosophy, music and dance as well as other fine arts under the Pallavas. Three centuries later, under the Cholas, temple architecture reached new heights. Raja Raja Chola constructed,  in the closing years of the first millennium, the Brihadeeswara Temple at Thanjavur. In 1000 AD with its imposing gopuram and the Shiva Linga, the temple was considered one of the tallest structures in the world. His son Rajendra Chola built a replica of the Thanjavur temple at Jayamkondam.

With its long coastline of over 1000 km, the state has abundance of beaches. Hill stations, wildlife sanctuaries and well-connected rural centres, as major attractions. Add to these, medical and adventure tourism.

 

Well-defined plans to enhance tourism

The state has a well-defined tourism policy implemented by imaginative promotions. With income in excess of Rs 100 crore, generating handsome profits, TTDC, has been constantly innovating promotional measures. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s Vision Tamil Nadu 2023 has set a Rs 10,300 crore-investment target for the tourism sector, designed to expand massively the state’s attractions.

Dr. R Kannan, Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism, Culture and Religious Endowments, referred to the focus on amusement parks, underwater ocean park, water sports complex, special hubs for rural tourism and culture tourism, heritage locations and science museum as the various tourist facilities planned.

 

TN tops domestic and foreign tourist arrivals

In the recent data released by the Union Ministry of Tourism for 2014, Tamil Nadu topped with 327.6 million domestic tourists, streets ahead of the second state, Uttar Pradesh (182.8 million). The state accounted for over a fourth of total number of  domestic tourists visiting other states of 1282 million.

The old myth of Delhi-Agra-Jaipur triangle and Maharashtra attracting most of the foreign tourists has been exploded: Tamil Nadu accounted for 4.66 million, forming 21 per cent, of the 22.57 million overseas tourists - ahead of Maharashtra (4.39 million) and UP (2.91 million). The state targets to receive 15 million foreign tourists by 2023.

TTDC is the first state tourism corporation to introduce, in 2004, online booking of tours and hotels. Catching up with the cell phone revolution, TTDC introduced mobile reservation of hotels and tours in 2012. This recourse to technology has helped in quantum leaps in earnings.

Recently, Dr. Kannan made presentations in a few leading cities in the US on Tamil Nadu’s tourist attractions. Prosperous NRIs are bound to be impressed with the variegated attractions of the state.

Tamil Nadu has four international airports and has a salubrious investment climate. GIM will showcase the special strengths of the state as a tourist destination.

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