Until a few years ago, Tamil Nadu Tourism’s guest house may not have figured in the list of prospective accommodations for most tourists as they hardly provided what most of them sought. Now, after initiating online booking of guest houses, tying up with airlines, launching deposit accommodation scheme and implementing hotel management system have made Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) leap forward and be at par with other star hotels.
Initiatives to attract tourists to TTDC guest houses
A strong marketing wing was recently created to improve the activities and image of TTDC hotels. This wing has been involved in advertising TTDC hotel packages in schools, colleges, government offices, private companies, trade fairs and other public places such as beaches, parks, temples to woo travellers.
A senior official from TTDC said that tie-up arrangements have been made with Air India, under credit scheme for TTDC Hotels. He said that deals have also been made with various government departments under deposit accommodation scheme for providing holiday home facilities.
E-Governance initiatives of TTDC
TTDC has recently launched the Online Real-time Reservation System for all their hotels across the state as well as for booking tours conducted by TTDC. Accordingly, the Corporation has reported a hike in its revenue through e-booking facilities every year. The revenue generated through online bookings alone stood at Rs 14 crore during 2018–19 as compared to Rs 12.8 crores earned during the previous year.
The TTDC official said that the “Centralised Reservation System” implemented across all sales counters across Tamil Nadu enable tourists to book rooms in any of TTDC hotels or book any TTDC Tours in any sales counters with ease. The “Hotel Management System” implemented in all TTDC hotels across Tamil Nadu enable the tourists to check-in and check-out in any of these TTDC hotels at any time.
The Corporation has introduced Wi-Fi in eight TTDC hotels in Kanniyakumari, Trichy, Thanjavur, Thiruchendur, Yercaud, Hogenakkal, Kancheepuram and Rameswaram in 2018-19 for the benefit of tourists who stay at these hotels.
Digital Marketing prompted through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and Instagram to interact and share current information with tourists. Through this campaign in Facebook, the events of tourism have reached to more than 1.30 crore of people within a couple of years.
Sneak peaks on surrounding tourist spots
TTDC hosts virtual tours on its website on 46 tourist spots including its guest houses in Tamil Nadu. Tourists visiting the site will have the experience of “virtually” visiting these places with a 360-degree view so that tourists have a better idea of the places and the surroundings before they book it.
Official said that their promotional initiatives have yielded results and leading multinational companies and organisations have started holding conferences and workshops at their beach resort in Mallapuram.
The plan ahead
There are several TTDC hotels and guest houses that are planning to further improve their facilities to attract more tourist. While room facilities are being improved while other services are being added, the staff and managers of TTDC hotels are being trained through two catering institutions in Chennai and Trichy. Sustainable tourism training programmes are also conducted periodically here.
why choose TTDC?
- 22 – Number of guest houses under TTDC in the state
- 50 – Seating capacity at its restaurants
- Rs 1,500 – Lower tariff is offered to guests compared to private hotels and resorts with similar facilities during peak season
- Guests are offered complimentary breakfast
- Online-booking is available for all TTDC hotels
- Bars are available in all TTDC hotels in non-pilgrimage areas
Piping hot vada and masala dosa are a hit even among the foreign tourists here, claimed a staff at the TTDC resort in Mamallapuram. “Tourists feel as if they stay in a private resort and not a hotel since all the guest houses resemble villas,” he said. The staff added that visitors are allowed access to the beach anytime and security measures are put in place accordingly. “Our guest houses attract more tourists since the tariff is much lower than private star hotels,” he added.
For tourists visiting the southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula, “A view of the ocean, a private balcony and suites are what the travellers seem to find most attractive,” said a TTDC staff. He said the occupancy rate in the TTDC hotel in Kanyakumari is hundred per cent every year during the tourist season. “The guests also get tickets for boating which is very famous here. Fresh fish is also served at the restaurant and it’s a favourite among non-vegetarian visitors,” the staff said. The TTDC guest house here is constructed in a way that tourists, irrespective of which room they live in, can watch the sunrise from their rooms.
The town always experienced a heavy tourist flow owing to the number of temples and important sites it has and the TTDC guest house here is famous here as it offers one of the best sea views to its guests. “Most of the foreign guests here like to sea and sun bath near the hotel,” a TTDC official said. In addition, separate cuisine is available for visitors coming north India and abroad.
The TTDC hotel-cum-guest-house here is situated in the middle of rose gardens which house more than 2,000 varieties of roses. There are also a variety of popular cafes nearby such as Willy’s Coffee Pub, Nahar Sidewalk Cafe, or Ooty Coffee House. The guests here enjoy a view of the famous Ooty fog from their rooms here.
The hotel is centrally located and closer to the lake. Here steaming idlis, crispy vadas, dosas and Pongal and filter coffee, especially during the cool weather are favourite among the tourists. Helpful staff and good amenities are the factors that ensure that visitors enjoy their stay here, claimed a staff.