Shimla, May 11
The Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) today formally launched the payment gateway on its website making instant booking through credit card payment possible for the convenience of the tourists.
Addressing a press conference here today, the Tourism Minister, Mr G.S. Bali, said with the launch of this facility Himachal has become the second state after Tamil Nadu to offer this kind of customer-friendly facility.
â€œThough we had a website on which one could book a room on the internet sitting in any part of the world but with financial transaction within 24 hours being a problem, tourists were facing inconvenience,â€ he remarked.
Though the payment gateway was formally launched today, the HPTDC has already got payments worth Rs 2.75 lakh during the last 10 days. â€œDuring the whole of last year, the Corporation got only Rs seven lakh payment through the online blocking of accommodation. So we can see that this will bring more business, while making it more convenient for the visitors,â€ he said.
He said technical software and solutions for this system have been developed by National Informatics Centre (NIC) while the payment gateway is through HDFC bank.
Mr Bali also gave details of a number of steps taken by the HPTDC to make the travel plans of tourists much easier and comfortable.
Another facility that the HPTDC will shortly be launching is the toll free telephone number, which can be accessed from anywhere in the country. At present, it is being run on trial basis and will give complete information to the caller.
Mr Bali said the HPTDC had registered an increase of 14 per cent in its turnover during 2005-06. The operational profit has registered 27 per cent increase from Rs 1.82 crore to Rs 2.30 crore, with the net profit touching Rs 1 crore. He added that the average occupancy in the HPTDC hotels had gone up from 40.63 per cent to 42.78 per cent.
He said the HPTDC would soon come out with a disinvestment policy so that there can be management partnership in some of the properties. He said Himalayan Ski Village project had been discussed by the Cabinet yesterday and certain queries had been made. â€œOnce the DPR is submitted by the company, the cabinet will look into it and the MOU has already been approved by the Cabinet,â€ he stated.