BENGALURU: The state government is planning to develop Karnataka as an all-season tourism destination by inviting investments of `1,800 crore for infrastructure development.
A step in this direction was the 30 Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) signed under the public-private partnership (PPP) model. A panel discussion on ‘Government and Private Sectors-Working Together for Development’ at the ongoing Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Travel Mart 2015 on Monday focused on the problems and challenges of the PPP model. The discussion was moderated by Rishab Shah, associate director, Horwath HTL, India. The company has partnered with PATA to bring investors and the government on a common forum through this discussion.
Large and Medium Industries and Tourism Minister R V Deshpande said the PPP model is the best way to develop tourism.
“Investors put their money in developing the state as a top tourism destination in the country and in return, the government extends all possible assistance to the investors and guarantees high-level transparency in clearing tourism investment.”
The state government has identified 18 unique products that will help the state evolve as a hot tourism destination. Varun Saraf, managing director of Chartered Hotel Pvt Ltd, said the initiative will bear fruit only if it is implemented properly. “The private player should be assisted for it to reap optimum returns on their investment. Under the PPP model, the government should assist them in promoting healthy growth of the tourism industry,” he said.
Most panelists agreed that to develop tourism in the state, the government should provide infrastructure like land, ‘last mile’ connectivity and power. The panelists also said that India lacks a proper tourism sector.
Suma Venketesh, senior vice-president, Real Estate and Development, Taj Group, said the PPP model for promoting tourism in the state by banking upon the hospitality sector will only be possible if prior planning is done to develop remote destinations.