'Follow Gujarat model to market festivals'
By K Shiva Kumar | Published: 11th October 2013 09:53 AM |
Scion of Mysore royal family Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar said Mysore Palace, which is one of the most desired tourist destinations after Taj Mahal in Agra, has the potential to attract international tourists.
Wadiyar said he wants the state government to work seriously to tap the tourism potential of the region.
The scion owns a chain of heritage hotels, promotes Mysore silk through Royal House of Mysore, owns the private Jaganmohan Palace with Ravi Verma paintings in it and plans to reopen Rajendra Vilas Palace atop the Chamundi Hills by next year.
In an interview to Express at Amba Vilas (Mysore Palace), the former Mysore MP from the Congress said the state government should follow the Gujarat model and market festivals to attract global tourists and also brand the state as the favourite destination.
Wadiyar suggested that Dasara festivities should be marketed a year in advance and programmes should be finalised at least a year ahead of the festivities. This will help foreign tourists and corporates plan for the event. This will also give enough time to the government to plan and improve the services to extend hospitality to tourists and visitors.
Expressing happiness over the anticipated footfall of about 15 lakh tourists for the 10-day festivity, Wadiyar stressed on the need for high-end marketing and direct air connectivity from all major cities in India and abroad.
“The connectivity will bring in high spending tourists to the city and will ensure that all the hotels do well,” he said.
He pointed out that air connectivity between Mysore and Bangalore does not make sense as on completion of the NICE Road, people can reach the city from Bangalore in 90 minutes. “Travelling by air will take about two-and-a-half hours,” he contended.
Wadiyar felt that many foreign and high-end tourists who have seen carnivals and events in Brazil, Berlin, England and other places around the world are disappointed after watching the festivities here.
He suggested that regular announcements should be made and tourists be given printed materials on festivities, regiments, tableaux in Kannada, Hindi and English. “Tourists buying tickets worth `6,000 to `8,000 should be given audio guides that will have 20 selected international language such as Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Spanish and other six major Indian languages to tell them what is going on. Audio sets will also bring down noise pollution and decibels at the venue,” he said.
On plans to set up a Dasara authority, he said it will be successful if the government follows his tips.
He felt that Dasara festivities and carnivals are two different events. The festivities must be made more interesting than stereotyping the events and programmes.
The band programmes and its formation should also change. “I had told then police commissioner Krishna Murthy that everybody in various uniforms should play European and Indian tunes.”
He said he is keen to complete the renovation of Rajendra Vilas Palace atop the Chamundi Hills that was built by Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV and Fernhills Palace in Ooty.
The scion said he hopes that he will get rid of land disputes and legal tangles.
He said he is confident of his team wresting power from former cricketers Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath in the election to the Karnataka State Cricket Association in the future.