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  a sequence of major transformational changes undergone by the public transporter in order to be at par with the changing dynamics of passenger trends.
Mrs. Rajni Hasija further mentioned that Indian Railways have always been one such organization which has been embracing changes in its operation and management from time to time to improve the overall travel experience of the passengers.
Mrs. Rajni Hasija during the session stressed upon the role played by IRCTC in adapting the technological changes for Indian Railways over a passage of time and also counted upon numerous contributions of the extended catering and tourism arm of railways in professionalizing and upgrading the hospitality services and also promotion of rail bound tourism in the country.
Mrs. Rajni Hasija spoke about the major contribution of IRCTC towards enhancing the quality of travel experience of the rail passengers in the form of introduction of paperless railway e-ticketing services which grew from a mere 27 tickets per day to around 11.5 lakh tickets in a day. Mrs. Rajni Hasija also mentioned about other technological adaptations executed by the IT business of the company such as up-gradation of on-line ticketing infrastructure from time to time, use of AI-enabled chatbot (ASK DISHA) to assist the customer in not only resolving general train travel related queries but also in booking of tickets and integration of a large number of payment options with the e-ticketing site for enabling the customers to pay for the tickets as per the payment option of their preference.
Mrs. Rajni Hasija added that IRCTC has played a pivotal role in revolutionizing the entire catering as
well as accommodation experience of passengers on stations be it setting up of exquisite food plazas, executive lounges, fast food outlets, budget hotels and retiring rooms at stations or operation modern and well equipped pantry cars serving elaborate meals on trains.
The decision of IRCTC to offer the facility to the passengers to book the meals of their choice during transit through online E-catering app has been extremely beneficial to the travellers as the company is booking an average of 50,000 meals per day online for the passengers which itself tells about the success of the initiative, said Mrs. Rajni Hasija.
Talking about the tourism business of IRCTC, Mrs. Rajni Hasija mentioned that the same has been the greatest success story of IRCTC and also has been one such business area where the company has undergone major changes to meet the requirements of the tourist market from time to time. She discussed about the story of transition of IRCTC from budget segment mass rail tourism operator (Bharat Darshan and Aasthaa Circuit) to mid segment Bharat Gaurav tourist train operator with a much better product offering in terms of comfort and levels of services. Mrs. Rajni Hasija said that in the post pandemic times, the company has been able to promote niche tourism to a great segment with the changed mindset of the tourists to travel in smaller groups and search for alternate tourist destinations which are far away and different from mass tourist destinations.
Mrs. Rajni Hasija said that the entire travel and tourism sector is an integral part of the services sector which is continuously evolving itself based on the needs and demands of the customers – who are the nuclei around which the entire travel and tourism sector functions and delivers and being the representatives of this extremely dynamic services industry, as professionals it should be commitment of the industry fraternity to continuously improve the quality of delivery of our services to the customers.
In her closing remarks during the session, Mrs. Rajni Hasija said “Nothing is permanent except change - these wise words were expressed by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus in around 500 BC. Now, 2,500 years later, it appears that change is indeed still something we have to deal with constantly in and around us.”
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