Fo­cus on wildlife and eco­tourism

Travel Talk - India - - NEWS -

the Wild’. The ob­jec­tive is not to re­strict tourism to wildlife alone, but also to pro­mote the wild side of Kar­nataka with its ad­ven­ture ac­tiv­i­ties. The state has been fo­cus­ing more on ad­ven­ture tourism such as aero sports, sky­div­ing in My­suru, mo­tor­cy­cle tourism in Hampi, scuba fes­ti­val at Nethrani Is­land, surf­ing fes­ti­val at Man­galuru, etc. For the pro­mo­tion of ad­ven­ture tourism, DoT has joined hands with Depart­ment of Sports & Youth Af­fairs and General Thim­mayya Na­tional Academy of Ad­ven­ture Kar­nataka for pro­mot­ing rock climb­ing, trekking, moun­taineer­ing, moun­tain bik­ing, kayak­ing, raft­ing, para­sail­ing and paraglid­ing. In ad­di­tion, DoT has also rolled out so­cial me­dia cam­paigns to pro­mote Kar­nataka Tourism.

Gov­ern­ment of Kar­nataka has es­tab­lished the Kar­nataka Eco­tourism De­vel­op­ment Board to cre­ate aware­ness about wildlife and pro­mote eco-tourism. Along with the Eco­tourism Board and Jun­gle Lodges and Re­sorts, eco-tourism zones are be­ing iden­ti­fied with a chain of na­ture camps and eco­trails to pro­vide the best ex­pe­ri­ence of the wild.

Q Tell us about the growth in tourist foot­falls to the state. What are your tourism tar­gets for 2018?

We have ag­gres­sive tar­gets for 2018. As per the 2015 data re­leased by Min­istry of Tourism, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia, Kar­nataka stands at the ninth po­si­tion in terms of for­eign foot­falls and fourth in terms of do­mes­tic foot­falls among other states in In­dia. We are aim­ing at be­ing among the top three in do­mes­tic foot­falls and the top five in for­eign foot­falls by 2018.

Q Kindly throw light on your re­cent ini­tia­tives and fu­ture plans to aug­ment the tourist in­fras­truc­ture in the state.

Kar­nataka Tourism has em­barked on des­ti­na­tion de­vel­op­ment across 20 des­ti­na­tions in the state. Gov­ern­ment of Kar­nataka, in its 2017-18 bud­get, has al­lo­cated `385 crore, which cov­ers in­te­grated de­vel­op­ment of her­itage tourism in­fras­truc­ture in the des­ti­na­tions, de­vel­op­ment of roads con­nect­ing to World Her­itage sites and other im­por­tant des­ti­na­tions.

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