Helpline to answer all tourism queries

As a tourist, you might have got stranded in the midst of the city you are visiting not knowing what to do, where to go, how to proceed etc. The risk is more if it is a bustling destination like that of Varanasi. But, you will not be stranded any more as the tourism department is launching a 24-hour helpline to answer all your queries related to the city. All you need to do is call on the 24-hour helpline.

The state tourism department is yet to officially launch the helpline, but a trial of the helpline 18601801364 is underway. “The helpline aims at assisting tourists at all times. From providing information about destinations to help in case of a crisis, the helpline will act as a link between visitors and the tourism department. Depending on the need, the tourists would be told about what places to visit, easiest mode of transport, rentals and advisories on food. It will also aid in online bookings,” said UP State Tourism Development Corporation managing director Akhand Pratap Singh.

The tourists can seek information like fees to be paid to tour guides or fare for a boat ride in Varanasi. They can also dial the helpline if they face harassment by locals. Their complaints would be lodged and they would be guided for future course of action. Since the helpline will act as a link between the police and administration, redressal of any tourist complaint will also be facilitated by the helpline. Adequate arrangements are being made to spread the helpline number among tourists. It will be displayed at important places such as railway stations, airports, hotels, restaurants and departmental website.

A special software has been developed by UPDESCO (Uttar Pradesh Development System Corporation) to run the helpline. Initially, the helpline will be available in Hindi and English. It will later be available in French, German, Japanese and other languages. PLans are also afoot to reduce the 16 digit number to four for ease of use.