Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Feb 15, 2002
Industry & Economy
Government - States
Karnataka to turn on tourism charms
The Karnataka Minister for Tourism , Mr Roshan Baig (left), the Chief Minister, Mr S.M. Krishna, and the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation Chairperson, Ms Manorama Madhavaraj, at the `Connect' a private-public partnership function in Bangalore on Thursday.
BANGALORE, Feb. 14
TOURISM is the latest plank in Cyberia. Taking a leaf out of the Kerala lesson, Karnataka has set out to be a premier global tourism brand.
It plans to unleash an aggressive marketing initiative soon along with the private sector to exploit its vast, untapped tourist charms. The new drive will include road shows, trade fairs, media campaigns and a newlook tourism Website.
The sector would get the same priority as information technology to encash its huge but untapped potential, the Chief Minister, Mr S.M. Krishna, said on Thursday. He was launching `Connect', the new public-private partnership.
Connect will also be a quarterly interaction between the Government and the private stakeholders to promote the State as an upmarket destination for global and domestic travellers.
The new drive in the name of the `Theatre of inspiration' would take off with the State participating in the world's largest travel and tourism fair, ITB (the International Tourismus Borse) being held in Berlin from March 16 to 23, the Karnataka Tourism Minister, Mr Roshan Baig, said.
The State was working out a strategy that would double the growth in tourism arrivals to 10 per cent in ten years, said Ms Vatsala Watsa, Principal Secretary, Tourism.
According to Mr I.M. Vittalamurthy, Commissioner of Tourism and Managing Director, Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC), the strategy will focus on ten foreign and seven domestic markets using the Bangalore brand. As per a SWOT analysis, the sector has been vastly neglected but there are opportunities in remote destinations and turning business travellers into holiday makers.
During 1999-2000, the State ranked fourth in domestic travel with 1.26 lakh domestic and 2.6 lakh foreign tourists. It ranks fourth among the States and the second in international visitors.
Now, special tourism areas and sub-destinations will be created and packages will be developed with entrepreneurs. The Government will gradually pull out of operations and remain a facilitator.
The Union Joint Secretary for Tourism, Mr Amitabh Kant, who as the Kerala tourism secretary pitchforked Kerala on the world map, said travel agents and the Government should together work up the Karnataka brand.
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