Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Lure of an overnight stay at NK

The lawns of the Agastya Tirtha at Badami.— File Photo

Tourism forum draws up itineraries for the region

Travellers looking for options other than popular tourist destinations in the State could follow the road less travelled. Itineraries are being drawn to popularise destinations in north Karnataka by the Karnataka Tourism Forum, a government-recognised private body.

Packaging the circuit around Chitradurga, Hospet, Hampi, Badami, Vijayapura, Kalaburagi and Bidar in about six itineraries, the plan promotes a night’s stay at some of the destinations, with two objectives: one, to target the domestic market as visitors to some of these places consist largely of foreigners, who make a stopover from Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra; the second, to help revive the hotel industry suffering from brief, daytime visits by tourists. Speaking on the sidelines of a ‘North Karnataka Show’ held here on Wednesday, C.B. Ramkumar, president of the forum, said awareness was low on the tourist attractions in north Karnataka. “People from Bengaluru usually look for destinations that are a short drive from the city. Hampi, for example, is about six hours away. We want people to know about the variety available within Karnataka before they move on to explore destinations outside the State only after seeing Mysuru, Kodagu and Chikkamagaluru,” he said.

He said the aim is to draw tourists from this year, though people avoid travelling to these parts in the summer. “The monuments, with their archaeological and historic importance, will be used as the USP.”

Existing hotels, including some big names in the hospitality industry, also said they were seeing an upward trend. Rohith. K., director of sales of the two-year-old Hyatt Place Hampi, in Toranagallu, Ballari, said business visitors comprise nearly 50 per cent of the inflow, owing to the mining and steel industries.

“But there is no air-connectivity, and infrastructure around the famous sites is limited. If these things are looked into, there is tremendous potential,” he said.

Focus areas: Chitradurga, Hospet, Hampi, Badami, Bijapur, Kalaburagi, Bidar

Challenges: air connectivity, making day-travellers stay overnight, infrastructure around tourist attractions


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