IRCTC to offer Singapore, Malaysia tour packages

Prajakta Chavan Rane

Mumbai, Nov. 29 -- After Dubai and Thailand, now Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is all set to offer less expensive foreign tours to Singapore and Malaysia, the Mediterranean and European countries. In the second week of February, the government-run corporation will operate a 5-night / 6-day Mumbai to Singapore-Malaysia trip for Rs69, 000, which is comparatively less than private players in the tourism market (see box).

"Following the successful Dubai and Thailand packages, we are looking forward to the Singapore-Malaysia trip. We are also working on tours to European countries. Our efforts will be to cover all expenses such as visa, transportation, accommodation and meals in the same amount," said Virendra Singh, group general manager, IRCTC.

By the next financial year, enthusiasts would be able to explore European and Mediterranean hot destinations such as Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Malta, Montenegro, Greece, Turkey and Egypt.

IRCTC is also planning Mumbai-Dubai and Mumbai-Thailand tours in March for which the tour prices are yet to be decided.

In 2012, Mumbai-Dubai tour was offered for Rs36,479, while Mumbai-Thailand was for Rs. 32, 144. The Bhopal-Dubai (via Mumbai) tour cost Rs. 44,200.

"In our plan, we try to cover maximum itineraries and control costs compared to the private operators. Generally, our fare is fixed, but it varies in case there is a wide fluctuation in the foreign currency or airport taxes. But these factors are common to all tour operators," said Rahul Himalayan, IRCTC's additional general manager.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.