The Karnataka government, which is attempting to project the state as a tourist destination on par with states like Kerala, Goa, Rajasthan and Odisha by showcasing the diverse destinations in the state, will host a surfing festival for the first time this year.
The Indian Open of Surfing, the first-ever surfing festival in Karnataka, will be held just ahead of the monsoon between May 27 and 29 at the Sasithithlu Beach in Mangaluru. The event, organised by Karnataka Tourism, hopes to attract surfers from all over India. “The idea behind the event is to promote and showcase beaches of Karnataka as popular surfing and adventure destinations,” according to officials of the department of tourism.
Karnataka Tourism has declared 2017 as the “Year of the Wild” and is promoting wildlife destinations in the state as well as various adventure activities. In December 2016, the tourism department opened up nine eco trekking routes in the Western Ghats for trekkers. In January this year, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and tourism minister Priyank Kharge launched the tourism department’s 2017 “Year of the Wild” campaign.
“Our objective in declaring 2017 as the Year of the Wild is not limited to wildlife alone. With its unique geographical features, Karnataka provides adventure lovers with every kind of terrain, probably except snow-clad mountains. We have initiated adventure activities like aero sports — sky diving in Mysore, motorcycle tourism in Hampi, etc,” secretary for tourism Naveen Raj Singh said.
According to tourism minister Priyank Kharge the attempt is to promote tourism with a “passionate commitment to nature and the environment.”