North Bengal tour operators’ plea on trains


North Bengal tour operators’ plea on trains

Stakeholders of tourism industry in north Bengal have requested the state government to take up their demand for re-introduction of more trains in north Bengal and resumption of toy train service in the hills.

On Friday, a delegation of the Himalayan Hospitality & Tourism Development Network (HHTDN) — a common forum of the stakeholders — met Nandini Chakravorty, the principal secretary of state tourism department here, and requested her to take up the issue with railway authorities.

Samrat Sanyal, the general secretary of HHTDN, said after the lockdown, the railways had introduced only one train between Calcutta and north Bengal.


Ahead of Durga Puja, two more special trains were introduced but those are supposed to run till November 30.

“It seems that from December 1, only one train will be available for tourists who intend to reach north Bengal from southern parts of the state. Unless the number of trains is increased, the inflow of tourists will not rise. That is why we have urged the principal secretary to mention the issue before senior state officials and then take up the matter with the railways. It is also necessary to resume the toy train services in the hills to draw tourists,” he said.

This is because the railways have time and again clarified that the state government will have to make the approach for introduction of more trains and for resumption of services, including that of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR).

Due to the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, the tourism industry here has taken a beating. Veterans associated with the sector have mentioned that the industry has faced a loss of around 21 crores per day from March to September.

“Now that the restrictions have been relaxed, the industry must explore all options for its revival. There are tourists visiting the hills and the Dooars but the number is abysmally low as compared to other years. At this point, absence of adequate number of trains should not act as a deterrent,” Sanyal added.

Sources said there are indications that some of the toy train services might reopen from next week. It is considered as one of the major attractions for tourists visiting Darjeeling hills.

HHTDN has also planned to launch an extensive campaign to perk up the inflow of tourists in this region, said the representatives.

“We have signed two memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI) and Association of Buddhist Tour Operators (ABTO) to promote the destinations across the country. Also, there is a plan to promote the Dooars region during the winter seasons,” said Raj Basu, a senior advisor to HHTDN.

Stakeholders of tourism industry in north Bengal have requested the state government to take up their demand for re-introduction of more trains in nor

Read latest post filed under darjeeling toy train, North Bengal, tourism

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