Rs 25,000 crore investment into tourism expected

The five-year policy plans to divide taluks into 5 zones to provide incentives

 The policy launched by Tourism Minister Janardhana Reddy here, banks on both Public Private Partnership (PPP) and regular projects through appropriate structuring and innovative financing.

The policy provides thrust to home stay scheme, cultural and heritage tourism, besides classifying the taluks in Karnataka into five zones to provide incentives and concessions. The Government will provide investment subsidy ranging between 10 and 35 per cent depending on the zone. Besides, all benefits similar to those provided for industries as per the State industrial policy, including exemption on stamp duty and conversion fee, will be provided to investment in tourism.

Under cultural and heritage tourism, Mysore, Hampi, Pattadakal, Badami, Aihole, Bijapur, Bidar and other heritage destinations will be identified and developed as core-tourism centres. The policy envisages to revive “Athithi”, the home stay scheme with minimal regulation and as a non-commercial venture.

Besides, all accommodation available with the government and which are not exclusively meant for use of the government officials will be consolidated from the PWD, Irrigation, Forest and Tourism departments into public accommodation network.

The policy also intends to provide wayside amenities including toilets, cafeteria, mini-store, pharmacy, information and souvenir booth at regular intervals of 150 kms along highways leading to major tourist destinations. Sound and light shows will be extended to cover all major tourists destination in the State, the minister said.
Reddy said the Tourism Department plans to start night safari at Bannerghatta National Park with refurbishing and development of the park. The Rs 180-crore project will enable nature lovers to take a ride through a night safari to sight nocturnal wildlife. The project will be placed before the Cabinet for approval soon.

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