First time in 34 years, the iconic heritage train was not on track in March as there were not enough bookings to run it. After the last 18 stressful weeks, the tourism officials heaved a sigh of relief on Wednesday, when 45 bookings were made for the seven day trip that begins in April.
Showcasing the sand dunes, forts and palaces of Rajasthan, Palace on Wheels has a 7 nights & 8 days itinerary. It departs from New Delhi (Day 1) towards Jaipur (Day 2), Sawai Madhopur and Chittaurgarh (Day 3), Udaipur (Day 4), Jaisalmer (Day 5), Jodhpur (Day 6), Bharatpur and Agra (Day 7), return to New Delhi (Day 8).
General Manager, Palace on Wheels, Pradeep Bohra was quoted by The Economic Times as saying, “The train has 45 bookings each for its seven-day tours that start on April 6, April 13 and April 20 at a 25 per cent discount rate. March is usually a lean month for tourism here. Therefore, we get fewer bookings, but this year, we didn’t get any.”
As per Bohra, the train needs a minimum 25 passengers for a profitable tour. It has a capacity for 104 passengers but the number of tourists have decreased in the last few years.
“In the last financial year, we made a net profit of Rs 9.5 crore, but this year it was much less at Rs 6.5 crore,” Bohra added to the above quote.