New Delhi, Nov. 7 (NNN): The tourism ministry is now planning a cheaper version of the `Palace on Wheels’ to cater to the middle class domestic tourism.
"We have planned to launch a tourist train service named Southern Splendour which would run between important tourist destinations in the four South Indian states," she told the 5th Editors Conference on Social Sector Issues.
The minister denied that there were not many takers for tourist train services in the country due to unaffordable rates and said Southern Splendour would be very affordable and was targeted at domestic tourists. She added that the success of tourist trains had in fact prompted the ministry to consider launching more such trains.
The minister there was special emphasis in her ministry on increasing job opportunities in the sector from 41 million to 66 million by the end of the Tenth Five-Year Plan.
In view of the Commonwealth Games to be held in the capital in 2010, she said her ministry would take steps to develop more 'budget hotels.' She added that efforts were being made to develop pilgrimage tourism and health tourism in the country besides promoting villages as tourist destinations.