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India News > Dedicated bus service to link tourist spots

New Delhi, Aug 11 (IANS):

A dedicated bus service for tourists, linking places of interest in the Indian capital, will start operations soon.

The Delhi Tourist and Transport Development Corporation (DTTDC) will soon start plying two air-conditioned buses to ferry tourists from one monument to another.

DTTDC expects the service to begin by the end of the year.

The buses will go around two dozen tourist and heritage sites, including the Red Fort, Qutab Minar, Bahai Temple and Humayun's Tomb. One bus will move clockwise and the other will operate in an anti-clockwise direction.

"Such buses are very common in big cities like London, Berlin and Paris which see a large number of tourists every year. A similar service in Delhi would help tourism here as well," said Suman Sharma, DTTDC spokesperson.

With the induction of these tourist buses, a traveller can get down at any one site, see the place at her or his leisure and then catch the next bus coming along to the other venue, officials said.

A single ticket issued for both the buses would stay valid for the whole day.

Delhi gets 18 million tourists, including 1.8 million foreign tourists, every year.

"Delhi is like a gateway to the whole of northern India. It has its own unique cultural standing, plus it is a perfect centre for booking tickets and exchanging money," said Sharma.

"People generally stay here for approximately two days when they go sightseeing around the city. Since Delhi's monuments are quite scattered, most of them prefer to go on package tours.

"DTTDC itself ferries 50 small budget tourists in buses and car daily. This goes up to more than 100 during peak season," the official said.

Travel agents have welcomed the new initiative.

Said Sanjay Tuki, general manager, Kai Tours and Travels: "This kind of system, I feel, will appeal to Indian tourists and low budget foreign tourists.

"We also organise trips visiting all the main monuments, and we charge Rs. 1,020 for an ambassador car, Rs. 1,700 for a Toyota Qualis and Rs. 1,900 for a mini bus. We even chart out special trips on request. Foreigners find it ideal, but that is not the case with domestic tourists."

©Copyright 2004, Newkarala (India) All rights reserved.

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