Study moots B'lore as tourism hub for entire southern region

Given the centrality of new Bangalore International Airport, Bangalore can act as hub for entire south zone for dissemination tourists in the nearby states. Tourists can travel to Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala from Bangalore, says a Ficci-Yes Bank Study on developing India as A Year-round Travel Destination.

Pointing out that foreign exchange earnings of the tourism industry in India is expected to increase to US$272.5 billion by 2018 at a 9.4 per cent annual growth rate, it notes that, though inbound domestic tourism is stable throughout the year, influx of foreign tourism is very periodic/erratic in the State. While winter months get best tourist crowds, months of April to July are pretty poor despite the variety of offerings and attractions the State offers through its tourism policy. Another factor that dampens foreign tourism is the commonly held belief that India can only be visited in select winter months.

Images of heat and dust of summer months and torrential rains during monsoon renders a picture of a country inaccessible for large parts of the year.

One way to improve influx of tourists ensuring uniform flow throughout  is to turn summer months into shopping bonanza and market it in terms of trade fairs on the lines of Dubai Shopping Festival, the study says, suggesting the concept of caravan tourism by building facilities on the outskirts of the City. While observing that tourists can be encouraged to stay long enough to enjoy the shopping and varied cuisines, it however, says both foreign and domestic tourists will need suitable and modestly priced accommodations which the State must encourage.

Calling for identification of niche tourism sectors, the study says, caravan tourism can bring in grassroot tourism in the State with local communities pitching in to help provide daily necessities.

Stressing the need to develop tourism circuits on the basis of hub and spoke model and appropriate infrastructure developed to accommodate these events, the study states, that the event (shopping festival/caravan tourism) can be month-long.

And as long events need budget stays for both foreign and domestic nationals, the study says, it is here that the State can plan caravan tourism where tourists can rent caravans and stay on the City outskirts. 

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