Hello Fellow Travelers,
As we all wait for both Domestic and International Travel to begin, here is some good news from the Indian Railways – IRCTC. They have sent out an official communication how they are coping up with the new normal and how the Travel and Tourism will now be managed.
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd. (IRCTC) is a “Mini Ratna (Category-I)” Central Public Sector Enterprise under Ministry of Railways, Government of India. IRCTC was incorporated on 27th September, 1999 as an extended arm of the Indian Railways to upgrade, professionalize and manage the catering and hospitality services at stations, on trains and other locations and to promote domestic and international tourism through development of budget hotels, special tour packages, information & commercial publicity and global reservation systems. The authorized capital of the company is 250 crores and paid up capital is 160 crores, fully subscribed by Ministry of Railways, Government of India. It’s registered and Corporate Office is situated at New Delhi.
This official communication can be read at the below link :
Or the whole experience is embedded here :
Lets read what they have to say
We, at IRCTC are hoping with renewed vigour for the world to reopen and also have a strong inkling that, you are having a similar urge. We know that while the new world may seem different, the impulse to travel is also stronger than before. For a lot of you, some plans were still in their dreaming stage, and some well thought of plans may have got cancelled. What could not be fulfilled, can be done when the world starts to move again. While we are eagerly waiting to serve you again, we are really working hard to make a number of changes in our systems and procedures considering your well being and safety.
The entire world is experiencing a new normal and as we adapt to this, it becomes important for us to take additional measures so that you stay safe and healthy while travelling with us. In these ever changing times, we have tried to ensure measures to provide you an atmosphere in which your health and well being are our primary concern. Whether you book an air or train ticket with IRCTC, book hotel accommodation or travel on a tour package with us, IRCTC shall constantly endeavour to promote your well being by partnering with personnel, hotels and travel partners which have in place, stringent health and safety protocols.
360 Degree Support
IRCTC, through its network of offices present across India, is well equipped to provide the necessary support to its tour programmes, in case it is required. When you travel with us, you can be assured that you are inexpert hands. Our backend teams are always constantly in touch with the latest developments and track changes in movement plans, safety protocols etc. prescribed by the Central/State Government or necessitated due to various other factors, which enables them to provide first hand information to the Tour Managers/Directors and guests for smooth conduct of the tours.
Depending upon the Tour Package you book, you may be unescorted or you may have the services of Tour Guides/Tour Directors. Please be assured that all Tour Managers / Directors, Guides, Drivers and other personnel engaged by us, go through periodic medical checks to ensure their and in turn your well being. Daily Body Temperature check has been mandated for all personnel travelling with us in a tour. In case of long tours, preliminary health check shall be ensured for all our personnel at least once during the tour.
Our personnel are adequately trained in personal hygiene and are aware of the importance of physical distancing. They have been provided adequate sets of uniforms and the uniforms are laundered daily. We provide all our personnel with sanitisation kits including masks, gloves, sanitisers for extra safety. In case of a Conducted Tour, our Tour Managers / Directors shall inform you of the new protocols, if any, required in any city / destination / monument / theatre etc and expect you to cooperate and heed their advice.
For all our Tour Packages, we shall be using transport vehicles, whether buses/coaches, cars which are sourced from trusted partners and adhere to the sanitization guidelines prescribed by Government of India from time to time. We shall also ensure that the buses/coaches/cars are not packed to capacity and ensure physical distancing norms. We have trained our drivers to disinfect frequently used surfaces such as door handles, air-conditioning vents, seats and storage spaces. We will also ensure that seat covers, if provided, are replaced at regular intervals. While we recommend that you carry your own hand sanitizers and face masks, all our vehicles shall be provided with adequate hand sanitisers, wipes, face masks, repellant sprays for your extra safety.
Wherever overnight accommodation in hotels, lodges, dorms is part of the Tour Package, we assure you that these have been selected through a stringent process and adhere to adequate health and safety guidelines.
Group Size and Physical Distancing
Number of people travelling in your group may vary depending upon the tour package you have booked with us. However, we shall ensure that physical distancing norms are adhered to at all times. We request you to adhere to the prescribed timings for meals, sight seeing and follow the prescribed seating plan in buses/coaches/trains.
Protocol at Monuments/ Theatres / Theme Parks / Hotels
Monuments/Theatres/Theme Parks / hotels may follow new set of protocols in terms of thermal screening, filling out of physical forms etc. Entry to monuments / theatres / theme parks may take longer than usual and Check In at Hotels may also take more time than usual due to the enhanced safety protocols. As far as possible, we shall try to provide this information well in advance to you, but there may be instances when such protocols may come as a surprise to us.
Please be assured that IRCTC shall provide the required assistance in such instances.
During your journey with us, meals may be planned on the train or at hotels or in the cruises or outside venues.
We assure you that, wherever possible, IRCTC shall inspect all its meal venues on the tours for hygiene and safety.
We hope that you understand that in group tours, buffets are a necessity and cannot be completely done away with. However, IRCTC shall endeavour to provide a minimal contact buffet experience. We shall review our menus and may be required to limit them for safety purposes, provide hand sanitisation stations at the meal venues, limit number of guests at tables to ensure physical distancing and deploy adequate personnel to ensure minimal contact with surfaces by our guests.
Chartered Train Travel
If you are travelling with IRCTC on one of its chartered train tours, we shall endeavour to provide a safe and hygienic environment by taking thorough disinfection of the coaches, kitchen/pantry cars, vestibule areas and toilets. Wherever possible, we shall also undertake to disinfect guest luggage. All efforts shall be made to provide safe environment in air-conditioned compartments through periodic cleaning of the vents and filters based on guidelines prescribed by the Ministry of Railways, Government of India.
Hotel, Cruise and Airlines Bookings
Kindly note that when you book hotel accommodation, cruise packages and airlines seats through IRCTC, we are merely acting as Agents for the hotel properties, cruise ships/boats and airlines. While we shall endeavour to have similar commitment from the hotels, cruises and airlines, please assure yourself by going through the respective hotels’ and airlines’ websites, their terms and conditions to know of their safety and hygiene protocols.
When you book a Package with IRCTC, you are insured to a certain extent depending upon the cost of your package. However, we recommend that you may also carry an adequate travel insurance.
While the entire world is taking strides to overcome it, some risk is still involved in exposure to COVID-19 when you are at public places. According to various government and international organisations, senior citizens and people with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable. When you book a tour with IRCTC, we assume that you have undergone the necessary medical check ups required to undertake travel. While on tour, we expect that you shall adhere to personal hygiene and safety norms including wearing a mask, maintaining adequate physical distancing, washing hands frequently with soap and using hand sanitiser frequently. Should you develop even a mild condition such as a minor cough or a mild fever, we expect that you shall inform IRCTC representative immediately and isolate yourself. We strongly recommend the use of Aarogya Setu App for your own safety . While you choose to travel with IRCTC, it is also understood that the risks related to exposure to COVID-19 lie with the guests. Let us endeavour to keep ourselves and people around us safe and healthy.
Keep yourself packed up, the next journey is waiting.
Use of Aarogya Setu app is recommended