Mangaluru, March 09, 2020: A discussion on coastal development and tourism organised as part of 35th journalist state-level conference was held on board the Cruise boat— ‘Rani Abbakka’ on Sunday.
The discussions on the tourism potential of coastal districts begun as soon as the cruise boat set sail from Old Port towards the Netravathi railway bridge to witness the confluencee of River Netravathi river and Arabian sea.
The speakers opined that the government had failed to promote the coastal districts as a tourism hub.
During the discussions they also favoured the formation of a board or an authority on the lines of Bekal Tourism Development Corporation Limited (BTDCL) to develop the region’s tourism potential.
Coastal Development Authority Chairman Mattaru Ratnakar Hegde inaugurated the conference.
Hegde said the unique conference organised on board the cruise boat would surely draw the attention of government in developing the tourist potential of the coastal districts.
He said the tourism potential remained untapped due to lack of co-ordination between departments.
Former MLC Captain Ganesh Karnik said the eco-system needs to be developed first. With careful planning and investment it was possible to realise a robust tourism sector in the districts, he stressed.
CREDAI President D B Mehta said was attracted to Sri Lanka government’s advertisement on its Ramayan circuit. “The eight-day trip was a fantastic trip, including beaches, temple visits and good accommodation,” he recalled.
“Mangaluru needs to learn from Sri Lankan’s Ramayan circuit,’’ Mehta said.
The formation of Bekal Tourism Corporation by Kerala government resulted in the formation of as many as five resorts. Tourism works in clusters, he said and added that the Town Planning Scheme and Mangaluru Smart City’s Rs 235 crore water-front development project if properly utilised had the potential of placing Mangaluru on the world map of tourism, he added.
Bengaluru Press Club Chairman Sadashiv Shenoy said tourism should narrow the gap between haves and have not. Local residents should benefit from tourism development. Former vice chancellor of Kannada University-Hampi Prof B A Viveka Rai regretted that his recommendations on improving tourism in the district, submitted 30 years ago, were still not implemented.
An ideal tourism circuit for the district should include spirit worship, mud wrestling and paddy cultivation.
‘’The rich should come forward to adopt lakes,’’ he stressed. The discussions aboard the cruise boat was a departure from previous conferences.
Delegates strolled around taking selfies and breathtaking pictures of the confluence and waters shimmering to the morning’s sun rays.
Even Prof Rai conceded that for the first time he delivered a talk on board a cruise boat.
Senior journalists feted
Deputy Chief Minister Govinda Karjola felicitated senior journalists Thimmappa Bhat, Padmaraj Dandavathy, G N Mohan, Abboor Rajashekar, P N Gopal Rao, Mahesh Angady, Manohar Prasad and Anand Shetty.
Senior journalists from the district, including Manohar Prasad, Anand Shetty and U P Shivananda, were presented with special awards and felicitated by Karjola during the valedictory held at Town Hall on Sunday evening.