Karnataka tourism dept to regulate visitors on lines of TN, e-passes on cards

A tourism department said this is the right time to take proactive steps and regulate tourism.
River Bhadra flows amid verdant forests in Chikkamagaluru district
River Bhadra flows amid verdant forests in Chikkamagaluru district | G Veeresh

BENGALURU: While the state government is working on multiple strategies to increase tourist footfall in the state and increase revenue, the tourism department is contemplating regulating tourism.

The Tamil Nadu government, during the recent summer vacation, had introduced e-passes, which were special permits for tourists to visit hill stations of Ooty and Kodaikanal.

Northeastern states and Bhutan too have introduced e-passes to regulate tourism. With the rush to the Himalayas increasing, the Union tourism ministry is chalking out an adventure tourism policy. Karnataka was also in news recently as tourists had gathered in large numbers at Kumara Parvatha in Chikkamagaluru and long traffic jams were witnessed in Kodagu. A tourism department said this is the right time to take proactive steps and regulate tourism.

The existing tourism policy is being revised and this proposal should be included in it. He said the policy is looking at plugging the loopholes and regulating tourists at homestays and resorts. It is also looking at schemes that were floated, but did not generate interest, like village tourism. “The department is looking at ecological, economical and sustainable tourism. We do not want any untoward incidents that will tarnish the image of the state. Having restrictions at some sites, like the forest department is working on, will be a good move,” he added.

Tourism Minister HK Patil said the department is working on revising the tourism policy and it will be finalised in two months. So far, no decision on e-passes has been taken, but it is going to be discussed with the officials. If it is required, it can be done, he added.

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