Puducherry : Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have joined hands to create a Southern India Tourism Grid by sharing their common strengths and leveraging their individual capabilities.
In their joint declaration, the three states and one union territory agreed to reduce the disparity in various state-level taxes like luxury tax, road tax on vehicles and entertainment tax, to make efforts to reduce them further and to cooperate in human resource development and building infrastructure.
The declaration was signed under the aegis of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at a meeting on “Building Southern Synergies – Tourism Colloquium” organised here over the weekend.
Officials from the four states at the meet said they recognised the importance of co-ordinated efforts for an integrated and efficient promotion of tourism in south India.
“It would lead to an improved and more enriching experience for domestic and foreign tourists resulting in increased tourist inflow,” CII said.
Puducherry agreed with the other three states to promote integrated and theme-based tourism circuits by identifying and developing destinations that had geographical proximity.
These are to be classified on the basis of “emerging value proposition” and segmentation such as spiritual tourism, eastern/western coastal cruises and medical tourism.
Officials of the respective states agreed to take necessary measures to improve connectivity among the various regions.
The four partners will now share a network of booking offices, marketing agents and other agencies involved in tourism services like reservations so that financial and operational resources required for establishing such networks can be used efficiently.
The joint declaration is expected to pave the way for the active pursuit of knowledge transfer between the states for adoption of best practices covering eco-tourism through jungle lodges and resorts, rainwater harvesting to cater to local demands, waste management of bio- and non-bio degradable discards and eco certification schemes to successfully promote tourism without damaging the environment and natural resources.
The project will also foster concerted participation from the private sector in the areas of developing tourism-related infrastructure and marketing the Southern India Tourism Grid.
The idea is to “enable tourists to discover the whole of south India, according to their destinations of interest and attractive prices”, a CII official said.