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No Modi effect: Mamallapuram yet to see a surge in tourists

Garima Singh New Delhi | Updated on October 22, 2019 Published on October 22, 2019

In this October 11 photo, Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping, in Mamallapuram. The town has not seen any appreciable increase in the flow of visitors post the informal summit between the two world leaders   -  -

For two days, on October 11 and 12, world’s attention was rivetted on Mamallapuram, a coastal town near Chennai, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping at for an informal summit. However, unlike after Modi’s Char Dham visit in May, this town is yet to see any tourist surge.

Mamallapuram, known for rock-cut temples and stone carvings, has always been among the sought-after destinations for domestic and foreign travellers. But the town has not seen any appreciable increase in the flow of visitors post the informal summit between the two world leaders. Many tourism industry experts, however, say that it is a bit early to judge the impact.

“There was a rise in the number of bookings and enquiries after the Prime Minister visited the Char Dham circuit just before the Lok Sabha results came out in May but Mamallapuram has not seen any such trend so far. The numbers have been more or less the same as they were before the informal summit,” said Romil Pant, Senior Vice-President – Leisure Travel, Thomas Cook India.

The major reason for this could be that most people avoid travelling during festival time. So, those who are in Chennai would definitely want to visit the place but people are not going there especially, just to visit the city, he added.

According to industry experts, Mamallapuram is always part of the travel itinerary for people visiting South India but there is no itinerary solely for this place.

“No change has been seen in the number of bookings so far; however, the picture would become clearer after some time,” said Kapil Goswamy, Managing Director, BigBreaks.com.

In his Independence Day address this year, Modi urged people to visit 15 destinations within the country by 2022 in a bid to give a push to domestic tourism.

“The recent reduction of e-visa fee is a step in the right direction but to see an increase in footfall of foreign tourists, the government needs to give publicity to such announcements outside India as well. Otherwise, how would foreign tourists get to know about this,” said Pronab Sarkar, President, Indian Association of Tour Operators.

Published on October 22, 2019
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