Updated: September 27, 2016 8:17:10 pm
It would be difficult to assess the impact of the Cauvery issue and related incidents on the tourism sector, Karnataka Tourism Minister Priyank Kharge said on Monday and expressed hope that it would “pull up” and there will not be much impact during Dasara.
“Dasara is approaching. Because of Cauvery issue and related incidents there are reports that it has impacted the tourism industry,” Kharge told reporters in Bengaluru. He said “our department considering this as festival of the department along with state festival, we have planned programmes towards boosting tourist confidence.”
“Probably there won’t be much impact on tourism,” he said. The department, which has taken several initiatives, is spending about Rs 2.5 crore to promote tourism during Dasara festivities, he said. Stating that it is difficult to estimate the loss, Kharge in response to a question, said “In Mysuru more than 40 per cent of people are dependent on tourism, so it is difficult to estimate what the loss has been.”
“Not only Mysuru, near by Srirangapatna is also a tourist spot. It is difficult to assess as of now, but we hope it will pull up,” he added. Karnataka is engaged in a legal battle with neighbouring Tamil Nadu over the raging Cauvery river water sharing issue. This had led to blockade of Bengaluru-Mysuru road and sporadic violence in parts of Southern Karnataka. Along with an exclusive Dasara website, print, electronic and digital media platforms are also being utilised for more promotional activities.
Initiatives like special package on the “Golden Chariot” train, ‘Royal Routes’ to help tourists discover Mysuru and to popularise the other less famous palaces have been organised by the department. It has also entrusted Kairali Aviation Private Limited to operate “Akasha Ambari”, an aircraft from Bangalore (HAL Airport) to Mysuru Airport from October 1 to 15 for air connectivity. The cost per passenger for the air travel would be Rs 4,000, officials said. Kharge also gave details of several initiatives by the Tourism department to mark World Tourism Day tomorrow that included ‘Pitch to the Government Hackathon’ to crowd-source innovative solutions and products from startups working in Tourism sector.
It has also come out with PRATHAMA (Pravasi Thana Mahiti), a holistic online MIS (Management Information System) backed system for collating and disseminating key information on the tourism sector in the State is first of its kind in India. Kharge also said that in probably a month and half, the tourism department would come out with an annual calendar of events, which would be promoted jointly by it.
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