The T. Nagar market area is Chennai's busiest.// © 2009 McKay Savage
As part of its promotional campaign, Visit India 2009, the India Ministry of Tourism is working together with tour operators, airlines and hotels to offer clients special promotional packages and prices for travel throughout India in 2009.
Packaged tours range in variety and in price, some with a special emphasis on eco tours and wellness specials.
For example, Bharat Travels is offering a Natural History and Anthropology of South India tour that promotes ecotourism. The three-night tour includes a stay in a heritage lodge in the valley of the Nilgiri mountains (“Blue Mountain”) and hikes of the local region. The cost is $125 for two people. Featured destinations include the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve covering Ooty, Mudmalai and Bandipur National Park; Kodanad; and the upper Nilgiri grasslands. The tour also includes shared accommodations, a day hike of Shola Forest with a naturalist guide, a day hike to a local village with an anthropologist and a day hike to the Nilgiri grasslands with a naturalist. Three breakfast meals are provided and all hikes include a packed lunch. The tour is available through Dec. 15.
A 10-night Exotic South India tour from Abercrombie & Kent, for example, features Chennai, Mahabalipuram, Tanjore, Madurai, Periyar, Kumarakom and Kochi with one free excursion, a complimentary room upgrade depending on availability, a complimentary dinner and an upgrade to a superior vehicle. The price for this tour varies, so agents are advised to contact Abercrombie & Kent directly to book clients.
Clients interested in wellness holidays may want to look into Indebo’s Health and Wellness Tour, which is available through Dec. 20. For $1,000 per person, not including airfare, clients can immerse themselves in India’s world-renowned Ayurvedic treatments. The seven-night tour includes Cochin, Kerala and Goa. Specialties of the itinerary include a fitness evaluation, an Ayurvedic herbal massage, a yoga and meditation session, lectures on Ayurvedic yoga and cooking, and a visit to a Goa spice plantation. Additional Ayurvedic spa treatments are not included.
Major Indian airline carriers, including Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines Limited and SpiceJet Ltd., are also offering specially discounted rates and packages for travelers throughout 2009.
Through Dec. 31, Jet Airways offers free companion airfare to India from all international destinations operated by the airline. Both tickets must be issued under the same fare basis of the applicable highest economy class fare available in GDS using the promotional code 9WMOTPROMO09. Some exceptions and blackout dates apply.
India’s major hotels, including its famous Heritage Hotels, are also rewarding travelers with special room rates and packaged deals.
For more information on Visit India 2009, please visit VisitIndia2009.IncredibleIndia.org.
Abercrombie & Kent
India Ministry of Tourism