Karnataka showcases its ‘wild’ side
Gaurav Gupta, Principal Secretary, Department of Information Technology, Biotechnology and Science & Technology and Tourism, Government of Karnataka, talks about initiatives taken to promote tourism in the state.
QHow is the new Karnataka Tourism Policy 2015-20 different from the 2009-14 policy?
Karnataka’s Department of Tourism has always been endeavouring to make Karnataka among the best and must-visit tourist destinations in India. Karnataka Tourism is actively implementing policies, infrastructure development initiatives and capacity building strategies to achieve this objective. It is with this view that Karnataka Tourism has reworked its Tourism Policy 2009-14 to give a new shape to the industry. The policy focuses on customer centricity, branding, source marketing, capacity building and training, policy development, fostering PPP ventures, etc. Further, as an extension of the Tourism Policy 2009-14, Karnataka Tourism formulated the Tourism Policy 2015-2020. The key differences between the two versions are given below:
Tourism policy of 2009-14 was tourist-focused, but the tourism policy 20152020 is investment centric and more focus is on inclusive development by considering all the stakeholders associated with Karnataka Tourism
Much focus was given to adopt a collaborative regional development approach. More private investments are encouraged by providing various subsidies and concessions. The policy also aims at streamlining processes by establishing tourism infrastructure to carry out hassle-free tourism services.
As a part of responsible tourism, more focus has been given towards corporate investments on tourism projects,
particularly for rural tourism development
Much focus has been put on sustainable development of tourist sites and promoting sustainable growth
Introduction of small aircraft and airlines to make air service more people friendly.
QKarnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) has upped its game with some new collaborations. Please elaborate.
The Department of Tourism and Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation have been offering customised local sightseeing trips in and around Bengaluru to popular pre-defined destinations.
KSTDC, for the first time, has taken the initiative to run city tours on pilot basis, by introducing ‘Bengaluru Detours’ at affordable rates, in association with OLA cabs. The available choice of vehicles through OLA cabs ranges from normal cars and sedans to SUVs and MUVs. There has been fairly positive response from the general public for ‘Bengaluru Detours’.
QWhat are the main marketing initiatives undertaken by Karnataka Tourism to increase tourist footfalls in the current year?
The Department of Tourism has adopted a multipronged strategy to promote Karnataka. This includes organising trade fairs, district tourism festivals, lake festivals, Bengaluru International Arts Festival, etc. Karnataka
Tourism has launched cobranding initiatives with RCB and Bengaluru Football Club to promote Karnataka tourism. This is apart from the promotional initiatives undertaken by DoT in international travel events such as WTM, ITB Berlin, etc.
Principal Secretary, Department of Information Technology, Biotechnology and Science & Technology and Tourism, Government of Karnataka