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‘Tourism in Rajasthan set to get focus’

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In active collaboration with private sector, the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) is contemplating many pro-tourism domain initiatives that would soon take shape, says Haulianlal Guite, IAS, Managing Director, Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC), in an exclusive interview with Kartik Sharma of Elets News Network (ENN).

You recently joined as Managing director of Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC), could you please share with us your plans with regard to tourism development in the State?

The RTDC is one of the principal agencies through which the Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan, promotes tourism and tourism-related activities in the state of Rajasthan. RTDC has been mandated to handle, for example, the quality of services for tourists who are coming here and in that sense, there are several products that it offers. For example, luxury trains such as Palace on Wheels (PoW), and other heritage trains, along with some hotels, midways, motels, which are scattered all over the State. Our main goal as of now is this to make sure that the PoW has full occupancy at all times.

For this, we hope to appeal to general travel agents as well as to other online travel agents (OTAs) and travel aggregators who would be willing to promote PoW on a commission basis so that we keep securing mutually beneficial win- wins. Another area that we are focusing now is the RTDC-run hotels which are spread all over the State. Going forward, our aim is to make sure that these hotels are properly renovated so that these stand at par with the standards of the private players. Also, our packaged tours are being promoted both for domestic and foreign tourists who wish to come and explore Rajasthan. These packaged deals are designed keeping into account the needs of the customers. Under these packages, customers are taken care of, right from the moment they land at Airport in Jaipur, to their respective hotels and then to their future tourist destination – both within Jaipur and outside of it too. So, going forward, we aim to promote these segments quite aggressively.

Do you see a disparity in terms of human resource management skills in the tourism sector?

If yes, is RTDC making any effort to minimise such a gap? When it comes to offering various hospitality services, there is a realisation among government sectors that it is the private sector that happens to perform more efficiently than the Government one. Keeping this into account, we are trying to bring in the best talent available in the private sector to our fold, and by offering them the same salary, along with the credentials and reputation of RTDC as a big brand name, we are hopeful that we would be able to attract the best workforce available out there – that includes the best among receptionists, the best room attendants etc. And regarding this, in near future, we would be floating a tender too.

How do you view the potential of technology in benefiting Tourism sector? Any latest domain in which RTDC is currently putting its efforts on?

Today, the technology-enabled solutions are the way forward for all the sectors, including for the tourism sector. otherwise not capable of doing so is one area RTDC is currently focusing on. The unique initiative would enable thousands of physically-handicapped citizens a chance to have a real-time feeling of visiting such places. Making such a viewing possible from the comforts of a hotel or a train is what our team is currently working on. In this regard, we are also in discussion with many private sectors to refine our future course of strategy.

RTDC has some great properties, including heritage properties etc. Do you think these can be better managed (than how they are currently being done) or be turned more financially rewarding?

The advantage that RTDC properties have against the rest of the competition is that they are located at prime locations and secondly, these come with huge from private sector – that are educated and also more qualified to perform the task assigned. In addition, we are offering various incentives to customers who are visiting such properties. Along with that, we are offering commissions to various travel agents who are keen to promote our heritage properties. These measures will soon start yielding results.

In tourism sector, advertisement and promotion are a must. How do you generally promote RTDC?

We do our promotion mostly through online mode – such as through travel aggregators such as booking .com, agroa, expedia etc. In the domestic market, along with working with hospitality players such as Oyo etc. we actively work with players such as yatra, make my trip etc. All our bilateral associations are aimed at achieving mutually beneficial win-wins.

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