Mangaluru, May 21, 2017: Karnataka tourism is multifaceted, a discerning traveller gets many facets of the state up close and personal with a slice of history as one traverses through its length and breadth. An important part of this world is the coast, which has irrestable charm for people who love beaches and the sea. Karnataka coastal areas offer this at a peak with its nearly 320-km long coastline straddling three districts.
Underscoring the importance of coastal tourism for the overall growth of tourism in Karnataka, the department of tourism has pumped in a lot of money in the coast, says Naveen Raj Singh, secretary of the department. " From the Rs 35 crore that we have invested, Rs 10 crore is from the central government," Naveen says adding this amount is being spent on improving facilities in 12 beaches in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts.
Emphasising that coastal tourism is not just about these 12 beaches or more, Naveen told STOI that it also focusses on places of tourism attraction 10-12-km from the coast. " Talk of coastal tourism is never complete without its beaches, we are focusing on places - known or otherwise on the fringes of the coast such as Sasihitlu in Mangaluru, DK district," the secretary says.
Sasihithlu in Dakshina Kannada is now the emerging hotspot of coastal tourism thanks to the hype generated by the maiden edition of India Open of Surfing organized by Surfing Federation of India. "This nature blest location was hitherto a virgin unexplored territory and shot in to prominence with the surfing event held there last year," says Yatish Baikampady, chief executive officer, Panambur Beach Tourism Development Project, closely associated in promoting surfing.
The Union government too is proactive in promoting coastal tourism potential of Karnataka. This can be envisaged from the fact that it has approved an Rs 94 crore funding for the coastal circuit in the state. "A master plan drawn up for this on advice from our consultants has been approved based on local inputs provided by tourism consultants, stakeholders and district administration," Naveen Raj said adding it will focus on connectivity, beautification and amenities.
Coastal marine tourism plans ahead:
- Cruise of international standards in Mangaluru/Karwar through appropriate PPP frameworks.
-Coracles, catamarans, traditional sail boats and houseboats at select destinations
Projects: Strengthening of coastal transport system to move people along the coast and also support cruise tourism activities. - Karnataka Tourism Policy 2015-20.