Karnataka will soon be included in the International Tourism Map, said Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday, read a statement from Chief Minister’s Office (CMO).
Speaking at a function organised in connection with the release of the Tourism Policy (revised) for the year 2020-26 and distribution of incentive for the registered tourist guides in Vidhana Soudha banquet hall, he said, “We need to increase the number of people visiting Karnataka from the current 30 lakh to one crore in the next three years. The footfall of tourists has increased. More foreign tourists must be attracted to give jobs to locals.”
CM Bommai said that Karnataka has the best tourist places which are ideal for the promotion of tourism.
“The forts of Kalburagi and Bidar are fantastic. All these are our property and there is a big scope for tourism if these assets are improved. We have got all these from their ancestors and it must be introduced to the whole world. The government is doing the job of recognising them,” he added.
The CM said, that the departments of Revenue, Good and PWD must work as a team along with the Tourism Department. The existing places of tourist will be fully utilised to promote tourism. The CM said that Saint Kanakadasa was born in Shiggaon taluk and it was also the karma bhumi of Saint Shishunala Sharif but these places are not developed.
“The excavation by the Department of Archeology has discovered a small palace. There is a fort of Kanakadasaru and a palace. Efforts are made to keep the saint alive by constructing a 4D studio and other measures. Now thousands of people from other states visit these places every year,” he added.
Bommai said that Anand Singh after becoming Tourism Minister, has chalked out new plans for the promotion of tourism. “Revival of Yaana, ropeway in Chikmagalur and hotels have been taken up. New circuits are formulated and Singh has a major role in this endeavor. More improvement will be made in tourism with private and public participation in the coming days,” he added.
He called upon the tourist guides to work with dedication and honesty, and they must never lie or mislead tourists.
“The Karnataka tourist guides must become number one and every tourist must talk about their honesty in guiding visitors. The officials of the Tourist Department must become active and make optimum use of their capacity to improve tourism.”
“In fact, the hotel industry has a lot of opportunities in the tourism industry. Sigh has started the construction of three-star hotels in Hampi, Badami and Belur. Lots of development are taking place and we must make use of it. The local youths should get jobs and Karnataka has to become world-famous,” he added.
The CM said technology has brought in changes in the tourism sector and this industry has been a main focus in some of the countries in the world.
“It is growing in the country too. Both government and private sectors must create good infrastructure for the development of tourism. Tourists expect good boarding, good food and good services. More jobs are created because of this industry. Karnataka is blessed with the wonders like Hampi, Belur, Halebid, Golgumbaz and Jain Basadis created by kings.”
“By protecting these historic monuments, we can attract tourists,” he added.
CM Bommai said that these architectural marvels must be introduced to the people.
He pointed out that UNESCO has already identified Hampi as a World Heritage Centre and shortly Belur and Halebid are expected to be included in that list.
“The Badavi caves and Ajanta Caves are old and important but tourists do not know much about it,” he added.
Bommai said two tourist circuits are being worked. One is Belur, Halebid, Somanathapur and surrounding places and is called ‘Mysuru Circuit’, and another circuit includes Badami, Pattadakal and Hampi, and called ‘Hampi Circuit’.
“The plan is being readied to take these two circuits to the international level. Visiting this website will give the complete information about those places and both the circuits are expected to function in the next two months. The government has also given importance to temple tourism, nature tourism. Rupees 100 crore has been earmarked for the development of Jog Falls and Anjanadri Hill, and a 600-room tourist dormitory will be constructed. Since the government of India has given concession to Coastal Regulation Zone for the development of coastal areas,” he concluded.