Telangana has something for everyone: Sumeet Singh

‘It is crucial that we develop a good network of agents before we go ahead with any direct marketing’ – Sumeet Singh, Managing Director, TSTDC

In a short span of six months, Telangana has emerged as a strong player in the Inbound and Domestic Tourism markets. Sumeet Singh, Managing Director, Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation (TSTDC), speaks to Shreya Kand about plans to promote the state on various platforms

Q. What is the USP of Telangana? What are your plans for the upcoming year?
A. The city of Hyderabad is the USP of Telangana. It is a unique blend of the past and present with heritage monuments built by both the Nizam and the British. Hyderabad has its distinct culture, which is definitely worth experiencing. Moreover, the city is famous across the world for its cuisine, mainly the Hyderabadi Biryani, and the exquisite pearls that lure many tourists to the city. Telangana also has many important places of religious importance. What is special about these places is that we have significant landmarks for persons from diverse religions. For example, the Yadagirigutta Temple and Bhadrachalam Temple attract Hindu pilgrims, Kulpakji is a Jain pilgrimage centre, Bidar is an important centre of worship for the Sikhs, Medak Church is the largest Christian diocese in Asia. These places attract thousands of tourists every year. Apart from Religious Tourism, we have rich forest reserves and wildlife in Telangana.

For the upcoming year, TSTDC plans to introduce tours to meet the specific needs of tourists. TSTDC also plans to promote Pilgrimage Tourism, Ecotourism and Heritage Tourism in the state.

Q. What are the initiatives being undertaken to promote the tourist attractions of Telangana?
A. As I mentioned earlier, Hyderabad is the highlight. We have launched a campaign called ‘Happening Hyderabad’ showcasing the best the city has to offer, which includes 52 weeks of events. The events will be organised by the government in collaboration with private partners. Some of the events have already taken place as per our calendar like the Marathon race, while some are in pipeline and will be announced shortly. The events would cater to all genres of travellers and would encourage tourism to Telangana. They have been strategically planned to take place on weekends so that more travellers would be able to enjoy these events. Alternatively, we are also developing tourism circuits in the city that cover heritage buildings and old palaces. They will cover the Falaknuma Palace, Salarjung Museum, Qutub Shahi Tombs, Chowmahalla Palace, Charminar, and the Hussain Sagar Lake.

Apart from the capital city, the Kakatiya circuit covering Warangal and Karimnagar, offers a flavour of the glorious heritage of the area. We are also promoting a host of lesser-known destinations in the state such as Jannaram near Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary and Kadem lake resort in Adilabad, Alisagar Lake Resort in Nizamabad for those interested in Adventure and Ecotourism. The government has sanctioned Rs five crore to develop Ecotourism in the state. We will be developing a forest resort in Jannaram and a tiger safari for wildlife enthusiasts. To compensate for the lost coastline, we are developing lake resorts and houseboats on the lakes, which are in plenty in the state.

Q. Which are your focus areas? How do you plan to tap potential markets?
A. We are focusing on appointing General Sales Agent (GSA) as well as authorised booking agents for our packages. Currently, it is crucial that we develop a good network of agents before we go ahead with any direct marketing. In order to appoint the agents we will be conducting roadshows across the country region-wise. We started with the Western Region, and plan to conduct roadshows in Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Nagpur, and Pune.

The primary focus now is to build a chain of agents who will promote the destination and its various offering throughout the country. The commission structure for the agents would be based on the regular slabs offered by the state tourism boards in the country and depending on the volume of travel to the state, alterations would be made to the same.

On an international level, TSTDC will also be participating in ITB Berlin to promote Inbound Tourism to our state. We have a huge number of expatriates in Hyderabad. It has always been a centre of interest for inbound travellers. We want to tap this potential and therefore will participate in international travel marts to promote the state.

Source: TravelBizMonitor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *