Udupi, April 08, 2015: Speaking at the foundation laying function for Thenkanidiyur-Kodavuru-Malpe connective stretch built at the cost of Rs 90 lakh, Minister for Tourism & Higher Education R V Deshpande asserted the tourism policy formulated in Karnataka State, the first of its kind in the country, would be announced in a week. He said the guidelines would enhance the quality of eco tourism, beach tourism, sea sports, adventure sports, naturopathy and so on. The guidelines would support various tourism activities in State, through incentives enabling the execution of the tourism potentials available in plenty, he added.
He said the other ambitious project of the Congress led State government is infrastructure cooperation, wherein the corporate would be pulled in, to invest on the tourism department owned land. He added under the programme the investors would be given land under lease for 30 years which would also facilitate renewal of the agreement. The investors who find it hard to purchase land following viability can go for the new programme envisioned by the government, wherein the land is pledged, he added.
Elaborating over Tourism Trade Facilitation Act, he said there are guidelines in the Act, however, the Act lacks regulations, the new format of the Act, wherein the amendments’ would brought in, would enable regulations, uniformity and licensing of various stakeholders involved in the tourism sector.
He further stated, tourism sector in India is in early stages compared to many countries. The contribution in some countries from tourism sector to the country’s GDP is even 15 percent and in India it is mere 6.1 percent. Tourism development would give ample employment opportunities in the local sector. It is a boon to the skilled and unskilled.
Pointing out that safety, cleanliness and security would be the priority in the process of boosting tourism industry, the Minister added the regulations in the Tourism Trade Facilitation Act would be amended following the cabinet approval. The tourist spot would be made security proof and talks are held with the police department. He said the tourist guides are regulated, besides the tourist operators would be made to register themselves and the details would be uploaded on website. The guides would be trained and would receive coaching in foreign languages.
Stressing over the importance of tourism regulations, the Minister said the restaurants, hotels would be regulated. The tourists should have freedom to choose as per individual need. He added that domestic tourism would also be promoted. The Minister added a new scheme is being envisioned to focus on public private partnership to enhance the basic infrastructural facilities at tourist spots. As many as 319 tourist destinations are open for the corporate sector to adopt.
He added that corporates who adopt the tourist destinations will develop the area, however the ownership would be with the government, he added. Corporates have approached the government for the adoption. Asserting that the government has spent nearly Rs 200 crore in the past two years to develop connective roads, he said local traders and investors should come forward to develop the tourism destinations in their localities.