To bounce back, hospitality industry needs to innovate and collaborate: Collector – The Hindu

Collector S. Aneesh Sekhar releases a brochure on heritage tourism circuit in Madurai region to mark World Tourism Day on Monday Also seen (from right to left): Superintending Archaeologist T. Arun Raj, ASI Tiruchi, Corporation Commissioner K. P. Karthikeyan, Travel Club president G. Raveendran and SIHRA president S. Sundar.   | Photo Credit: Moorthy G.

Madurai has the potential of anchoring the region to develop into a holistic tourism circuit, Collector S. Aneesh Sekhar said while speaking on the occasion of World Tourism Day on Monday. To bounce back from the loss the industry suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, all stakeholders in the sector need to ideate, innovate and collaborate.
He promised to revive the Tourism Advisory Committee in the district for regular interactions to actively promote and market tourism sites. He cited the example of Kerala’s district-level tourism promotion councils that are empowered to take care of tourism spots.
“Many heritage sites within the city are lost in congested commercial spaces. They need to be retrieved, maintained and made visible,” he said, adding completion of Smart City projects would also take care of the parking woes.
Tourists who come to Madurai also looked forward to choices beyond Meenakshi temple. No other district in the region had such a strategic location to offer tourism packages from beaches to mountains, spiritual, cultural, food and heritage trails. “Well thought-out plans and their execution with institutional support and public-private partnership can help Madurai blossom into a tourism hotspot,” said Dr. Sekhar.
Corporation Commissioner K. P. Karthikeyan suggested pre-fixed packages under mass and niche tourism to help earn revenue. He said Madurai was the landing destination for several adjoining districts and therefore, it would be of value addition to look beyond what it offers now. The challenges of cleanliness, sanitation, green cover and traffic management have to be addressed to make tourism products consumable, he underlined.
Director, South Indian Hotels & Restaurants Association (SIHRA) S. Sundar said the advantages the region has for developing the scope of tourism need to get converted into business. “The end-user of our products should see Madurai as a model. The administration, tourist guides, hotel owners, have to work in tandem to aggressively market tourism,” he said.
The Tiruchi Circle of Archaeological Survey of India published a brochure on the Jain caves in and around Madurai which was released by the Collector.
Superintending Archaeologist T. Arun Raj, said a scientific approach to heritage tourism helps to give visitors an interesting peep into history.
G Raveendran, Madurai Travel Club President, also spoke at the event that was marked by a quiz for students and panel discussion on how to promote tourism, the job opportunities and the role of the stakeholders.

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