The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation is a subsidiary of the state owned Indian Railways. It was created with the major aim of servicing the railway industry and pioneered online tourism in the country in its day.
Major services provided are those related to catering and online booking of train journeys while also promoting tourism in India. IRCTC provides tickets in two similar forms – e-ticket and I-ticket. Both are similar in the fact that they can be booked online on IRCTC’s website. The difference is that an I-ticket is booked online and delivered to one’s house.
While the intent of the creation of IRCTC was to provide catering and online services to its customers, a third and major business line was seen as potential growth. This was the growing tourism industry where a major profit could be made considering the lack of connectivity by air and the amount of time and cost involved with road travel. The Indian Railways certainly took up a big effort to promote this branch of the IRCTC, especially to foreign nationals. A popular example of this is the Bharat Darshan line that is popular with budget tourists covering important tourist destinations.
Another example that is the favorite of foreign nationals is the luxury package offered by IRCTC. There are several packages available across several enjoyable and world renowned trains that pass through some of the most scenic and historic places in India. Several of these special luxury trains are featured on several brochures around the world, like the Palace on Wheels, Deccan Odyssey and Golden Chariot to name a few.
In fact, the most expensive train in the world runs within India – the Maharaja’s Express and is owned and operated by IRCTC. This beauty was voted the world’s leading luxury train in the last three consecutive years. Apart from these services, adventure tourism packages also exist that offer customers a chance to customize their package to make the most of their trip.
Nationally, though, the most used services of IRCTC are the online booking facility that has proved very useful for rail travels all over the nation. The ease of booking a ticket without the hassle of lining up at a booth has made this the most popular service by IRCTC. Under the IRCTC provided Tatkal scheme passengers travelling at short notice can book their journey tickets on the IRCTC internet portal.
Considering all of the above, it’s no wonder that it has become the largest and the fastest-growing e-commerce website in the Asia-Pacific region.