DK should create its own tourism plan: DC

DK should create its own tourism plan: DC

Let’s not just imitate the success model of other places when it comes to tourism, but derive inspiration from them, urged Deputy Commissioner V Ponnuraj. Speaking at an interaction programme on ‘Tourism Development’ organised by the Mangalore Association of Travel Agents (MATA) here on Friday, he opined that Dakshina Kannada should create its own tourism plan, quite different from Goa or Kerala, to grab the attraction of foreign as well as domestic tourists.

In an informal session attended by a large number of travel agents and tour operators of the district, the participants shared with the DC their experiences and what they found lacking in many of the tourist destinations in the district.

A participant pointed out that the district is lacking in basic infrastructure like rest rooms, parking spaces, drinking water facility and so on. Most tourist locations have very small access road. The tourist coaches available are very poor in quality. The tourist guides are also not well trained, she accused.

What foreign tourists want

Most passengers in the cruise vessels that arrive at the New Mangalore Port are hyper sensitive about security, said a port official. A small mis-step and they, especially elderly, panic. They want good standard vehicles, air-conditioned, he added.

Aloysius Albuquerque of Summer Sand beach resort said that it is cleanliness, privacy and courtesy that matters most to the foreign tourists. According to Rashid Bolar, if we want the tourists to see our place, first we need to have good footpaths. Many pointed out that the tourist department should provide information in the language that each tourist speaks, good tourism map as well as qualified tourist guides for the tourism in DK to improve.

‘Connect Lakshadweep’

Rashid Bolar, who arranges journeys to Lakshadweep lamented that Mangalore is not an exit point for tourists to Lakshadweep despite being the nearest port to the island and already have good connectivity with it. All tourists are travelling via Kochi. He stressed the need to develop Mangalore as an exit point to Lakshadweep.

Clean beaches

Albuquerque also explained the herculean task of keeping the beaches clean. He pointed out that the river throws the garbage into the sea, which ultimately settles on the beach. Besides, waste from fish meal units also pollute the beaches. Yathish Baikampady, the moderator brought to the notice of the gathering, how Panambur beach is kept clean by exerting rigorous vigil. The Deputy Commissioner narrated how Malpe beach is being maintained with the help of women self help groups and pointed out that other beaches in the region can also be maintained well drawing example from Malpe.

War against paan, plastics

Yathish Baikampady called for a war against paan, which dirties the beach beyond imagination. “In Panambur beach, we maintained vigil at the gate and stopped people carrying paan and ghutka and sometimes imposed fine. Now, the number of people who come with these things have reduced to 20 per cent. Paan shops may be a means of employment, but it will kill further employment that can come into this place with tourism. Hence, it is high time we start a war against paan,” he added. Meanwhile, the DC called for a ban on plastics that are below 50 microns. It will help efficient waste management thereby keeping the city clean, he added.

Heritage tile houses

The Deputy Commissioner also sought the help of the tour operators in preserving the old tiled houses, which are a typical identity of Mangalore. Some of them can be converted to home stays, while some can be used as refreshment counters, so that their owners can benefit from the inflow of tourists, he suggested.

Do we have a USP?

A consensus of opinion was arrived at that the district does not have enough potential to attract tourists in such variety of ways, but we don’t have a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Be it the Karavali Utsav or Kadri Kambala, they do not take place on the same day every year. Hence, the meeting decided that it is necessary to chart a tourist calender every year assigning specific dates for each major festival.

Deputy Director of Tourism Department Shivalingappa, President of MATA Roshan Pinto, PRO Louis Pinto and others were present on the occasion.
DH News Service