According to a PTI report, Rajasthan’s luxury train, Palace on Wheels (PoW) – is all set to be rolled out in August this year with a new look to woo international and domestic tourists, with a new spa, gym, cuisines from around the world, latest upholstery and other modern amenities.
The new look will sport upgraded facilities, different and improved interiors along with other services which, according to official sources, were inevitable with other luxury trains like Maharaja Express, Indian Maharaja – Deccan Odyssey and Golden Chariot plying in the country. Along with PoW, a second luxury train from the state – ‘Royal Rajasthan on Wheels’ (RRoW) – is also being upgraded to attract tourists and make their experience enjoyable. Facilities of spa and gym, as well as upgraded interiors will also be present in the RRoW.
Manjit Singh, Chairman and MD, Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) said, “Tourists will have an option of a Dubai-like desert safari when the train halts at Jaisalmer. More varied food including Mexican, Thai and seafood will be served. The bar is also being upgraded and some of the world’s best wines will be made available on the train, while interiors have also been upgraded to give a new look besides improving quality of existing services.”
“Currently both the trains – Palace on Wheels and Royal Rajasthan on Wheels are undergoing major revamp at cost of around Rs two crore. The PoW will start its journey from August this year, while RRoW will be on track again from September this year. We are planning an aggressive marketing campaign to promote both the trains and make these the most preferred by tourists worldwide. There is competition with rising number of luxury trains in the country in recent times, but we hope our distinguished trains will get good responses,” added Singh.
Currently, reservations on the luxury trains are being done online with few tourists preferring to do so via tour operators. The RTDC, however, is looking to make distribution channel more viable and systematic by appointing more agents and thereby increasing group and charter bookings.
The Palace on Wheels, which was adjudged recently as the fourth best among the top ten luxury trains of the world by Conde Nast Traveller is in profit of around Rs nine crore. However, the RROW introduced in 2009 has incurred a loss of around Rs two crore and Singh is hoping that the RRoW will also register profits in the 2010-11.