Caravan tours are popular in Rajasthan and Karnataka.
CHENNAI: After being tied down to their homes for months due to the pandemic, domestic backpackers’ ‘revenge travel’ plans may get a boost as the state will soon unveil a tourism policy that includes caravan rides and cruise ships to help people escape from the humdrum of the city.
We are planning this as domestic tourists are going to be our mainstay, tourism minister Dr M Mathiventhan told TOI.
Caravan tours are popular in Rajasthan, Karnataka, and Uttarakhand where tourists can hire a caravan and drive out to exotic locations and camp for a night with bonfire.
“We are planning to attract domestic tourists on a large scale by promoting water sports by utilizing Tamil Nadu’s long coastline. Caravan tourism is another vertical that has tremendous potential and does not require huge investment. What we need to do is create facilities such as parking lots, shops to buy goods for those looking to cook, and food outlets for those who want to eat out. I also had a discussion with the water resource minister regarding introducing TTDC boat services in dams for tourists,” Mathiventhan said.
The department would also explore the possibility of utilizing the existing cruise terminal at Chennai Port, he said.
The government is planning to tap into these new opportunities along with promoting lesser known destinations and spiritual and nature tourism to compete with other states in attracting domestic travellers, he said. Private companies have expressed interest in caravan vintage tours, and hop-on and hop-off tours around the city, he said.
“The idea is not just to attract tourists but to ensure that they spend more time in the state. Tourists used to spend around two days here. We want to ensure that they stay here for three to four days,” tourism secretary B Chandra Mohan said.