N-K tourism spots a nightmare, says survey

Vital tourist destinations lack basic amenities, rest-rooms


Spread over two years and involving a sample size of 300 people, the survey titled `North Karnataka Tourism’ throws the spotlight on Bidar, Gulbarga, Bijapur and Raichur. The project by Anchor Hospitality and Property Services Private Limited, was headed by its Director Ashwin A Leyland and guided by Managing Director Sumitra Iyengar. The group also took 14 trips to Bidar, Gulbarga (12), Bijapur (5) and Raicher (7) to get a first-hand feel of the conditions.
The sample size had 55% male respondents and 45% female respondents. As many as  41% of the people surveyed in the sample survey said they would not like to re-visit the places they had visited in these regions. Only 28% answered in the affirmative while 31% were undecided.

 “The absence of basic amenities is clearly warding off tourists as 87% stated that restrooms were non-existent at vital tourist destinations,” said Iyengar.
Other findings revealed that absence of proper air and rail connectivity forced tourists to use buses and cars, which made their journeys tedious. The absence of hotel facilities, souveneir shops and proper eateries were also expressed by tourists. Non-maintenance of monuments resulted in their deteoriation, many felt.
The project made 13 suggestions to improve the places. Taking the help of youth clubs or women self help groups to maintain the monuments was one interesting solution offered. The others included according topmost priority toward providing public restrooms, roping in local  ITIs and other training institutes to set up Souvenir shops, food and beverage outlets. Making available KSTDC taxi service at all the spots and investing much in advertising the tourist destinations were also suggested.

Official reactions
Chairman of FKCCI Tourism Committee, S Shanmugam, said he was making a thorough study of the submitted survey. Responding to the findings, Managing Director of Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation, Vinay Luthra, conceded that facilities were inadequate. “The number of tourists visiting North Karnataka is quite less and so the private sector is not showing much interest in making investments here,” he regretted. This was despite the numerous incentives offered in the new Tourism Policy.

KSTDC had called tenders for private partners to develop many of its wayside facilities. “Five properties which have good drinking water and restroom facilities, were not functioning presently.  We are trying to make local people take over the spots and run them,” the MD added.

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