South India one-ups triangle route with golden quadrilateral

MODELLED on the popular golden triangle route of Delhi-Agra-Jaipur, four southern states in India are mulling the formation of a golden quadrilateral comprising Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

Speaking to TTG Asia e-Daily on the sidelines of the 29th annual convention of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), Suman Billa, secretary, Kerala Tourism, said: “We will be working on a system for seamless travel within the four states. If the golden triangle can do wonders for (tourism in) north India, then the south needs to create a tourist circuit along similar lines.”

The four states have already come to a consensus on inter-state taxation and plan to implement a single taxation regime for tourist vehicle movement in the region.

Officials of the states involved are scheduled to conduct a high-level meeting in Hyderabad on September 14 to further deliberate the proposal and make announcements.

Kerala and Karnataka accounted for 3.8 per cent and 2.9 per cent of total arrivals to India respectively last year, putting them among the top 10 states. India drew 6.6 million foreign tourists in 2012.

Subhash Goyal, president of IATO, commented: “We are extremely delighted that the interests of all the states are now aligned. (The NTO of) Karnataka has already launched a luxury train that covers the other states. If we are able to make an itinerary covering all southern states, it will increase their share of (national) tourist arrivals.”

Added Iqbal Mulla, chairman and managing director, Treasure Tourism Corporation: “It is high time that we create a golden quadrilateral in South India. This will help to take the tourism sector of the region to the next level.”

source: TTG Asia, 11 Sept 2013

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