City Reports

‘Palace on Wheels’ hit among tourists; 92% already booked for next round 

The train used to be popular mostly among foreign tourists, but now an increasing number of domestic tourists are enjoying the luxury rides

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February 18, 2023, 9:01 am

palace on wheels Rajasthan interiors

Interiors of Rajasthan's luxury train Palace on Wheels

JAIPUR: The luxury tourist train – Palace on Wheels – is now a hit among tourists. For the next round, the train has already been booked with more than 92% occupancy. As many as 78 passengers have booked the train that has a capacity of accommodating only 82 passengers. 

The train used to be popular mostly among foreign tourists, but now an increasing number of domestic tourists are enjoying the luxury rides. Almost half of the occupancy is being reported from Indian tourists. 

The Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. (RTDC) has earned a profit of about Rs 3 crore from Palace on Wheels. 

After the COVID-19 period, the train began running continuous trips from October 22, 2022, and by January 2023, more than 500 passengers, mostly domestic tourists, had travelled on the train. In light of the increasing number of domestic tourists, RTDC is considering redesigning the fare structure of the train to align with Indian standards. 

The next journey of Palace on Wheels, beginning on February 18, will have 78 passengers, with a capacity of 82 passengers.

V. P. Singh, Managing Director of RTDC, noted a significant reduction in the number of foreign tourists after the COVID-19 period. He said that the focus was on promoting Palace on Wheels in different cities of the country, resulting in 40 to 50% of Indians travelling on the train. 

Singh expressed hope that the Palace on Wheels would be fully booked in March and April. He praised the leadership of RTDC Chairman Dharmendra Singh Rathore, who has contributed to the train’s development.

Recently, a Rajasthan delegation attended the “FITUR” International Tourism Fair in Madrid, Spain, and organized a roadshow for Palace on Wheels, which was well received by international tour-and-travel agency operators in attendance. 

According to Singh, before the conference, more than 50 passengers from Spain had already booked travel on the train, and after the event, bookings for March and April 2023 approached 175. 

Dinesh K. Patnaik, India’s ambassador to Spain, also noted that Spanish travellers who travel on the Palace on Wheels will receive the best facilities for their Indian Visa. RTDC hopes to set new records, as the train and the corporation are moving in the right direction under competent leadership.

First published: February 18, 2023
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