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Wednesday, Aug 28, 2002

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ITDC arm begins conducted coach tours in Chennai

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The Chairman and Managing Director of ITDC, Mr Ashwani Lohani, (left) at a press conference in Chennai on Tuesday.

CHENNAI, Aug. 27

PASSENGERS boarding international flights out of Chennai can soon shop at the world class duty-free shops.

Mr Ashwani Lohani, CMD, India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) said the duty free shops at all international airports were being renovated and well stocked to be on par with those in Dubai and Singapore. He said the work on the duty-free shop at the New Delhi international airport had already been completed. The total project cost is Rs 1 crore.

After the disinvestments of the hotels, ITDC has two hotel properties in the southern region in Mysore and Pondicherry. Mr Lohani said the focus of the company was to make the other businesses of ITDC such as travel, money changing, duty-free shops and human resource development, more market-driven.

Ashok Travels & Tours, a division of ITDC, launched its conducted coach tours and full-fledged moneychanger operations in Chennai on Tuesday. Mr Lohani said that ITDC had entered into Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Tamil Nadu to conduct tours.

With this in mind, Ashok Travels & Tours launched five tours out of Chennai. There are day tours to Kancheepuram, Mammallapuram and Pondicherry. Besides these one-day tours, there are longer heritage and hill station tours.

The tours prices range from Rs 225 per person for a single day to Rs 4, 900 per person for six-nights/seven days tour including accommodation on twin sharing basis.

All tours will be luxury non-air conditioned coaches. Air-conditioned coaches will be introduced late. Mini vans and cars are also available for these tours. ITDC proposes to launch similar conducted tours in other States.

Ashok Travels would also be getting into the outbound travel market, Mr Lohani said.

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