BANGALORE, August 28: The State Tourism Department has proposed to introduce “hop-on, hop-off” bus service during the Dasara festival to facilitate tourists to visit major tourist destinations in and around Mysore.
Minister for Higher Education and Tourism R.V. Deshpande, who chaired a meeting of top officials of the Tourism Department, told presspersons here on Tuesday that hi-end buses would be operated through all tourist places such as Srirangapatna, KRS dam, BR Hills, Shivanasamudra Falls, Belur and Halebid temples and Shravanabelagola.
Tourists can get off at any point during their travel and board these buses again at another point after they finish sightseeing, Mr. Deshpande said.
The “hop-on, hop-off” bus service is common in the West, particularly in the U.S. The facility would help reduce tourist dependence on taxis, he said.
Noting that the department is working out logistics by holding talks with the authorities concerned regarding the number of buses to be deployed, he said that a high-level meeting to be presided over by an officer of the rank of additional chief secretary will be held in Mysore in two or three days for the purpose.
The department would take steps to attract more foreign tourists to Mysore during Dasara as there were reports that the number of visitors has seen a decline. A web portal, Dasaramysore.org, is being created for providing all information to tourists, he said.
Mr. Deshpande said that there are more than 300 tourist spots in the State and the department has urged the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation and the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation to organise package tours connecting all important tourist destinations.
Models of seven or eight important places such as Hampi, Nandi Hills, Shravanabelagola, Jog, Karwar and Mysore would be displayed at the exhibition in Mysore, he said.
The Government would hold talks with private airlines to fly special flights from Hyderabad, Chennai, Goa, Mumbai and Mangalore to Mysore during the festivities.
He said that a “Clean Mysore” campaign would be launched to enhance the city’s ambience during the festival. Security would be tightened. Steps would be taken for organising trips for schoolchildren during Dasara, Mr. Deshpande said.