BANGALORE: Bringing Goa to Karnataka? The state government plans to jazz up beach tourism in the coastal region and has rolled out a special coastal circuit project for the purpose. Forty-one beaches and some islands along the 320-km coastal line of Karnataka, from Karwar to Mangalore have been identified for this and development work will start soon, said RV Deshpande, minister for tourism and higher education. He was addressing the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry here on Tuesday.
“We had limitations of not being able to undertake any construction in many parts of coastal areas because of high tides. However, we have identified places where development is possible under parameters of the central government and this new plan has been chalked out,” Deshpande said.
The new tourism policy for the state will be ready by 2014. He said the private sector will be the driving force of the tourism industry in the state and the government will limit itself to the role of a service provider. He said the tourism department has taken the cause of improving connectivity within the state and between prominent tourist places. Infrastructure development in these areas will remain a priority, he said.
He stressed the need to improve the situation at smaller airports and said airlines should be provided adequate facilities and support so that operations are profitable. “The state has over 300 tourist spots. However, we plan to concentrate on 6-7 major tourist centres and develop them extensively. We should be able to come up with projects that offer a person waiting for over five hours for a flight at the Bengaluru International Airport a quick trip to nearby Nandi Hills,” he added.
The tourism department is looking at providing vocational training to those involved in the industry. He said courses extending up to 15-30 days should concentrate on providing training people to be guides and service providers.