Planned train, sea cruises to serve up South India

Scenic Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu

The South India tourist confederation is working on various proposals, including launch of luxury train and sea cruises, with a view to showcasing the entire southern region as an attractive tourist destination and boost tourist arrivals, Indian media reported.

The confederation, set up three years ago, has held a series of meeting to work out joint travel packages, where a tourist arriving in the southern region could have a glimpse of the entire southern region when he arrives and see some places of interest from each region, Balsubramanyam Reddy, joint director, Andhra Pradesh Tourism, told reporters.
“We are planning to promote the tourist destinations in South India on the lines of the golden triangle in North India and are in the process of working out various joint proposals to bolster this initiative”, he said.
On the cards is the proposed 22-coach luxury train called the Southern Splendour, which is expected to commence operation in under two years. The proposal has received the clearance from the centre and the railway board. Details of the project are currently being worked out.
The train would touch the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. However, details of the tourist spots in each state are still being worked out.
“We are planning various packages comprising various time period and tourist spots, including a hop-in, hop-out package for those interested only in specific tourist spots,” he said.
Destinations will have a blend of beaches, heritage, religious spots and adventure, he said.
Reddy said adding Rs250 million ($6.2 million) had been set aside for the project.
Also being discussed are sea cruise packages which will allow tourists to enjoy the beauty of the southern beaches. The packages will include a view of the southern ports including Vishakapatnam and the Andamans and Nicobar islands. The details are still being worked out. As of now, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have displayed an initiative in the cruise line project, he said.