Emphasis on infrastructure

Print edition : July 04, 2008

Creating facilities for tourists will be the top priority.-BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Interview with Subir Hari Singh, Principal Secretary of Tourism.

IN an interview with Frontline, Subir Hari Singh, the new Principal Secretary of Tourism, outlines the initiatives to be taken to develop the tourism sector in Karnataka.

Inadequate infrastructure continues to be a cause for concern. What steps will be taken to make travel more comfortable and convenient?

Creating facilities for tourists and strengthening infrastructure will be the top priority. Tourist-friendly amenities will be developed in all major tourist destinations.

What measures have you initiated to attract investors to the tourism sector in Karnataka?

The department recently organised Momentum, an investors meet, and the outcome is successful. One hundred and thirty-two private landowners have shown interest in either selling or leasing their land for tourism projects.

The department will bring these landowners and potential investors on a common platform next month for the development of tourism infrastructure.

The Golden Chariot, Karnatakas luxury train, was launched recently. What are your plans for the train?

We are planning to introduce a conference coach and market it to corporate houses. Six GSAs [general sales agents] have been appointed worldwide to market the train to foreign tourists.

Are there any specific programmes to promote tourist destinations in northern Karnataka?

We are concentrating on the development of tourist destinations in northern Karnataka. The Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation [KSTDC] will deploy 14 coaches for conducted tours in the region. These tours will start from Hospet and Hubli.

What is KSTDCs role in the development of tourism?

KSTDC is working towards strengthening facilities in major tourist destinations. KSTDC hotels are being upgraded at Belur, Badami, Hospet, Madikeri and Srirangapatna. Soon, it will start operating taxi services from the new international airport, which will allow passengers to choose between taxi operators. The corporation has also taken over the management of Brindavan Gardens in terms of entry fee, parking, boating area and kiosks.

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