With an aim to make more tourists and pilgrims register for its Puneeth Yatra scheme, the state government is mulling to extend a 25% discount for packages on offer.
Out of the 21 packages launched by the state Tourism Department and the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) in September, most bookings were made only for 12, while the number of tourists opting for the Yatra was only 10,000 in the last three months.
Tourists specifically preferred south India temple tour, north Karnataka temple tour, Tirupati and Shiradi pilgrimages. The department had also extended its service from Kalaburgi, which again did not lure many.
"This could be due to lack of publicity," reasoned a Tourism Department official, who also pointed to the tourists feedback that the packages were priced high though they travelled in luxury buses and stayed in Yatri Niwases.
"That's why we're thinking of extending the 25% discount for the coming financial year, but the final decision rests with the government," he said, hoping that the packages would see more takers during the holiday season beginning in March, since south Indian religious tour is the most sought-after.
The Department hopes 1.32 lakh tourists would register for the tour packages. The 25% concession is ending on March 31.
Owing to poor response, the Department has also decided to drop short haul Golden Chariot trips for this season.
KSTDC Managing Director Kumar Pushkar told DH that seven trips had been made this year with 50% occupancy, while three trips had been cancelled. Also, 11 week-long trips were made last year.
"Response has been awfully poor for the short haul trips," Pushkar said explaining the cancellation this season.