From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network
Bengaluru, Sep 28: Karnataka tourism will soon be included in the International Tourism Map, said Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
Speaking at a function organised in connection with the release of Revised Tourism Policy for the year 2020-26 and distribution of incentive for the registered tourist guides to mark the World Tourism Day celebrations, he said Karnataka needs to make one crore people visit the State in the next three years from the current 30 lakh tourists.
The footfall of tourists has increased, he said and wanted more foreign tourists must be attracted to give jobs to locals.
Karnataka has the best tourist places which are ideal for the promotion of tourism. The forts of Kalaburagi and Bidar are fantastic. All these are our property and there is a big scope for tourism if these assets are improved. They have got all these from their ancestors and it must be introduced to the whole world, he said.
The Chief Minister said the State Government is doing the job of recognising them.
Bommai said the departments of Tourism Development, Revenue and PWD must work as a team along with the Tourism Department. The existing places of tourist will be fully utilised to promote tourism. They need to make Karnataka world famous. This requires the support of everyone.
"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,’’ he said.
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.
Bommai said that Anand Singh after becoming Tourism Minister has chalked out new plans for the promotion of tourism.
Revival of Yaana, ropeway in Chikkamagalur 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 said.
Dedication, honest work must
He called upon the tourist guides to work with dedication and honesty and 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, he said the hotel industry has a lot of opportunities in the tourism industry.
The construction of three-star hotels in Hampi, Badami and Belur as well as development are taking place and they must make use of it. The local youths should get jobs and Karnataka has to become world-famous.
The Chief Minister 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, he said.
Bommai said Karnataka is blessed with the wonders like Hampi, Belur, Halebid, Golgumbaz and Jain Basadis created by kings. By protecting these historic monuments they can attract tourists. These architectural marvels must be introduced to the people.
UNESCO has already identified Hampi as a World Heritage Centre and shortly Belur and Halebid are expected to be included in that list. The Badami caves and Ajanta Caves are old and important but tourists do not know much about it.
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 called 'Hampi Circuit.’
The plan is being readied to take these two circuits to 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 State Government has also given importance to temple tourism, nature tourism, he said pointing out that Rs 900 crore has been earmarked for the development of Jog Falls and Anjanadri Hill and a 600 room tourist dormitory will be constructed. The Government of India has given concession to Coastal Regulation Zone for the development of coastal areas, he added.