After an extensive makeover, the luxury train Deccan Odyssey finally witnessed a full house for its first trip this season. The train left Mumbai on Wednesday evening for its week-long trip to Delhi and will cover various tourist attractions in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
The train has started this year’s season with 62 foreign nationals from Britain, the US, Switzerland, Holland and Australia travelling to Delhi. It had been unable to attract foreign tourists after the November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai and was incurring losses.
It will halt at various tourist destinations during the trip. “We are including destinations requested by tourists, increasing the trip’s appeal, and refurbished the interiors and exteriors, adding a library, a beauty clinic and spa on board,” said Jagdish Patil, managing director of Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, which owns the train.
The train is expected to make profits for the first time this tourist season since its launch in 2004, though it had always witnessed low bookings, mainly due to high tariffs (of $650 a day) and inefficient marketing. State tourism minister Chhagan Bhujbal, also travelled on it to Nashik. “We have even started receiving bookings for the 2012 schedule,” he said.