Luxury Tourist trains to ply round the year

JAIPUR: The Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation is planning to operate the “Palace on Wheels” and “Royal Rajasthan on Wheels” luxury trains in the State throughout the year except two months to attract more foreign and domestic tourists. Both the trains will start in August during the next tourist season.

RTDC Chairman and Managing Director Manjeet Singh said at a meeting of tour operators and sales agents in Delhi over the week-end that the trains would be available to tourists round the year except May and June. Arrangements will also be made for marriage on board, special packages and chartered trips.

Mr. Singh sought the cooperation of tour operators in popularising “Royal Rajasthan on Wheels” on the lines of “Palace on Wheels” while pointing out that the latter was completely booked till 2010. The RROW, started to facilitate the visit of more high-end budget tourists to the State, was operated in its first season this year despite a low turnout of passengers.

He said the RTDC had decided to reduce the fair of RROW to 590 U.S. dollars per person per night from the next tourist season. The facilities such as spa, Internet connectivity, business centre will shortly be introduced.

Hollywood actors can marry on wheels in Rajasthan

New Delhi: Hollywood actors who throng to Rajasthan to marry or honeymoon can now do it in style. They can charter two popular luxury trains — the Palace on Wheels or the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels.

The Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) is pitching the marriageon- wheels proposal to Hollywood as tourists dwindle amid the downturn.

These trains that have redefined luxury with its plush interiors and superior services can be booked for Rs 70 lakh by actors planning to marry onboard. They can also avail discounts of up to Rs 10 lakh, if they book an entire train.

The Rajasthan government has asked travel and tour operators to sell the idea to Hollywood holidaymakers. “The trip can be extended to Mumbai and Ahmedabad, if the customer desires,” Dr Manjit Singh, RTDC’s chief managing director, said.

The idea is especially being pitched to Hollywood actors, who have made a beeline for Rajasthan in recent times to holiday or honeymoon.

Liz Hurley tied the knot with Arun Nayyar and US hotelier Vikram Chatwal with Priya Sachdev in recent high-profile marriages in Rajasthan.

Hollywood actors Michael Douglas, Nicole Kidman, Mick Jagger, Madonna, Richard Gere and Julia Roberts also flew into the desert state to holiday in trips that attracted wide- spread publicity.

In the coming season, the two luxury trains will run for 10 months, or from August to May, two months more over the last season when the trains ran from September to April.

The Palace on Wheels is fully booked till 2010. But the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, introduced recently, has not been able to attract tourists, due to the recession. “ We are hopeful, the bookings will pick up in the next season,” Singh said, adding spa, wifi, business centre and a library will be introduced.