Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Aug 17, 2004
Industry & Economy
Marketing - Promotions & Offers
Travel cos luring senior citizens with special holiday packages
Chennai , Aug. 16
INDIAN travel companies are following the lead of their foreign counterparts and have started targeting senior citizens with special packages.
This category has been a money-spinner for foreign companies for a long time but had been largely unexplored by Indian companies.
Travel trade sources say that more than 50 per cent of the foreign groups that land in India are on post-retirement jaunts. This age group largely from source markets such as Germany, the US, Britain and Japan have the time and money to travel.
Mr S. Mahesh, Director, Bharat Travel Service, said that a large number of inbound tours that the company handles are in this age group. On an average the cost per person would be around $5,000, he said.
Travel Corporation (India) Pvt Ltd (TCI), has come out with its senior specials, specially created for travel within India for those in their 60's and above. These holiday packages are planned to be taken at a leisurely pace and would include travel mostly by car (except in Nepal), accommodation at three-star hotels, sightseeing and airport or rail transfers.
The rates for four days in Goa are Rs 3,500 per person at a standard hotel or Rs 5,000 per person at a five-star hotel. A five-day Kerala tour is priced at Rs 7,700 for three nights at Kovalam, a drive to the Padmanabhaswami Temple, one night at Kanyakumari and more sightseeing.
A seven-day tour for Rs 11,470 includes the traditional Kochi-Guruvayur-Munnar-Kumarakom-Kochi circuit.
TCI also offers a seven-day package in Kashmir at Rs 10,900 which includes stays in deluxe houseboats on Dal Lake in Srinagar, a shikara ride, sightseeing of the Mughal Gardens, visits to woodcarving factory and carpet factory.
A day trip to the Meadow of Flowers, Gulmarg, is a highlight where one can enjoy sled rides on the snowy slopes or go up the chair lift. A stay in Pahalgam, the Valley of Shepherds, offers an opportunity for short walks in the forests of pine and fishing in the Lidder River.
The eight-day Nepal package, which includes Kathmandu, Pokhara and Nagarkot, is pegged at Rs 10,990 and includes a short flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu. These special deals are valid till September 30 only.
The Chennai-based Hi-tours has also come out with a package for this age group, which would offer tours to Singapore, Malaysia, Colombo, Dubai and Mauritius. The group will be accompanied by a doctor who would be available with them throughout their journey aboard. Senior citizens would also be given personalised services for luggage handling, medical insurance at a reasonable cost and calling cards to keep in touch with their family.
The package would be priced at Rs 5,555 onwards for three nights and four days exclusive of airfare and would be valid up to September 30.
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