Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah directs officers to prepare an action plan to boost state tourism

Speaking at a review meeting attended by ministers and senior officers, the CM said they have decided to formulate a new tourism policy and extensive consultations should be held on this.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah addressing media after DCs Meeting at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah addressing media after DCs Meeting at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru on Tuesday.Photo | Nagaraja Gadekal

BENGALURU: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday expressed displeasure over not having adequate facilities to promote tourism in the state, especially in the coastal region, despite the state having a 320-km coastline.

Speaking at a review meeting attended by ministers and senior officers, the CM said they have decided to formulate a new tourism policy and extensive consultations should be held on this. He said a district-wise action plan for the conservation of tourist spots should be prepared within three months.

“Tourism infrastructure in the state is less and investors will come forward only if an environment conducive for tourism is created,” he said. There is much scope for developing tourism in the state and that can create employment opportunities, he said.

Siddaramaiah directed the deputy commissioners of Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, and Uttara Kannada to take measures to develop tourist spots in the districts, in collaboration with the locals. He said that due to the CRZ Act, there are some problems in development and they would try to resolve them, he said.

He said tourism is a major source of income for many states, but Karnataka has not been able to develop tourism, as much as neighbouring Kerala. A blueprint should be prepared for the comprehensive development of the sector, he said.

There are many important places along the coast, including medical colleges, ports, and temples. But there is not a single five-star hotel, he said, adding that a separate plan has to be prepared for coastal and hilly areas. There is a need to explore the possibilities of coastal tourism. It is possible to collect taxes and create employment opportunities for locals, he said.

He said that the situation of coastal people going to Mumbai and the Middle East in search of jobs in large numbers has to change, he said. District officials should identify possibilities for developing tourist spots. Steps should be taken not only by private partnerships but also by the government.

All aspects will be included in the new tourism policy, he said. There are 25,000 monuments in the state, of which 23,000 are neglected. If the Karnataka Tourism Trade (Facilitation and Regulation) Act, 2015, is properly implemented, the development of tourism destinations is possible, he said.

Tourism Minister HK Patil told officials to prepare an action plan and submit a proposal to the government to utilise opportunities in their districts. He asked them to take the help of writers and artists in the districts to prepare the plan in three months.

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