State's new tourism initiatives

Wooing the members from the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), visiting the City to attend an interactive session arranged by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Industry & Commerce (Ficci) Ranganath said that Karnataka can offer everything but snow for tourists thus laying out an entire range of destinations that can be explored by investors vying to set up properties in the State.

‘Caravan & heli’ tourism
Further, the government is mulling caravan tourism that would enable tourists visit forest and other remote areas where hotel accommodation is a major hurdle, Department of Tourism Director K Viswanatha Reddy said, adding that the caravan would provide basic amenities like beds, toilet, microwave, TV and refrigerator and that the government would welcome private partners to operate caravans. “To start with, we are looking at operating 10 caravans. The government on its part would provide the parking zone after ensuring due clearance from various bodies including the forest department,” he said.

The investment for each caravan could start from Rs 6-7 lakh and go up to Rs 1 crore subject to the size, he said adding that no route had been identified as yet. He said government had also taken up promotion of “heli-tourism” using choppers, covering heritage, coastal, pilgrim and Malnad circuits and that it will shortly finalise bids for the same. Added to these initiatives, the State also plans to encourage cruise tourism. It was looking at two cruises from Mangalore to Karwar covering places like Udupi, Kundapur, Murdeshwar and anchor cruises on high seas off Karwar.  Reddy said that the State had acquired 150 acres of land in Mangalore for development of an international golf park on a public-private partnership basis.

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