Many of the facilities and services which were otherwise designed for upper class tourists will be now made available for the middle class. The Chief Minister announced `507 crore for the Tourism Department.
Siddaramaiah announced affordable packages to attract domestic tourists to the expensive Golden Chariot luxury train. Jungle Lodges and Resorts Ltd will launch budget-class accommodation in the name of Jungle Camps and Trails. He also announced the launch of ‘Kuteera’, a new scheme for providing high-quality basic amenities at a reasonable price on national highways for tourists.
After the success of ‘Open Street’ initiative in Bengaluru, government plans to upgrade it into an international event to attract more domestic as well as international tourists. The same will be extended to other places.
He also announced `10 crore to develop Karwar, Bidar and Chikballapur districts as model tourist destinations. The government will also organise Karnataka Travel Mart once in every two years. Air and heli taxi services will be introduced to promote important tourist destinations.
Ashok S J, joint secretary, State Guide Association, welcomed the focus on middle class. “Jungle Lodges and Golden Chariot were not affordable for common people. Now they too can enjoy the premium services,” he said. He, however, felt a greater emphasis should have been given on promotion of lesser-known tourist places. “We lag behind in this regard when compared to neighbouring states. There are hundreds of places which are worth visiting, but the government needs to give basic facilities like toilets and road connectivity. Our state also needs a tourism ambassador like Gujarat,” he said.
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