Karnataka aspires to India’s number two tourism destination

Bengaluru, July 17 (IANS) Karnataka’s Tourism Policy 2015-20 aims to catapult the state to the number two tourism destination in India and as well as ensure it figures among the world’s top 50 tourism destinations.

With the T.V. Mohandas Pai-headed Karnataka Tourism Vision Group (KTVG) report projecting tourist traffic to the state to rise from the current 100 million to 210 million by 2024 and called for Rs.54,000 crore investments and 30 lakh jobs’ creation in next five years, Karnataka is taking a slew of measures in the form of strategic framework and thrust areas to improve infrastructure and offer excellent tourism products and services.

The policy, released on Thursday, aims to promote balanced regional development by attracting investments from private sector and local entrepreneurs and a tourism infrastructure company, dedicated special purpose vehicles, public private partnership and joint ventures are some of the preferred routes.

It also aims at comprehensive branding, marketing and promotional activities like conferences, road shows, festivals and exchange programmes to achieve the desired exposure.

Using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is another key initiative and it is envisaged that information on destinations, accommodation, itinerary, events and booking will be available through web portals and mobile apps also.

The state tourism department will set up a database and publish an annual industry status report and organise industry outlook conferences, according to the new policy.

Mega projects like golf courses, cruise tourism, large entertainment studios, entertainment parks, cables car, tourism trains, others have been proposed in the tourism policy and the department urged to promote rural tourism, coastal tourism, eco-toursim, wellness and holistic health tourism, adventure tourism, weekend tourism, healthcare tourism, urban tourism, religious tourism and film induced tourism.

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