Tourism Minister Anand Singh said on Thursday that the number of tourists visiting Karnataka has increased by 14 per cent and that the government was seriously pursuing several policy ideas to make the state a more sustainable tourism destination.
According to Singh, nearly 6.12 crore tourists visited the State from January to September this year compared with 8.86 crore in 2011. “In 2009 and 2010 they were much lesser. The number stood at 3.2 crore and 3.8 crore, respectively,” he said.
Among other initiatives, he said the government had sanctioned Rs 40 lakh to Jungle Lodges and Resorts to implement ‘Caravan Tourism’ .
“This year we want to start caravan tourism packages to Kabini and Bhimeshwari. In this regard, we have already sanctioned money to Jungle Lodges and they would begin the same shortly.
The caravans would be self-driven and are aimed at attracting families to take the vehicles and drive to spots like Kabini where Jungle Lodges will take over,” he said.
A Jungle Lodges representative said that all the amenities at these sites would be provided for by the organisation and that all the caravans to the aforementioned sites would leave only from Bangalore.
To further boost the number of tourists visiting the state this year, Singh said, “With Dasara around the corner, we have already done road-shows in Chandigarh, Amritsar and Kolkata.
For people coming from Kolkata, we will have special, customised packages that will take them to many ‘Devi’ temples during Dasara.”