Hinterlands being identified by KSTDC to push village stay concept for tourists
Mysore/Mysuru: The convergence of agriculture and tourism creates a new tourism product called agritourism and the State Tourism Policy 2020-2025 lays a big thrust on agritourism. Taking the initiative further, the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) has proposed an agritourism destination between Mysuru and Srirangapatna.
“We are taking steps towards creating agritourism facility for tourists in Mysuru region where tourists coming here would get an opportunity of staying with farmers in the villages. The KSTDC and the Tourism Department is in the process of identifying certain villages in the hinterlands of Mysuru and Srirangapatna for the same,” KSTDC Chairperson Shruthi Krishna told Star of Mysore.
With agritourism, tourists will get the advantage of learning a lot about villages, forest, food habits and farming while staying in villages. Government is making arrangements for the stay and safety of tourists in rural areas, she said and added that this step will have a positive impact on the farmers as their source of income will increase since they will be providing accommodation and food. Also tourists will get an altogether different experience, Shruthi added.
Also, Tourism Department owns over 19 acres of land near Srirangapatna somewhere close to KRS Dam backwaters and discussions are on to set up an agritourism destination there. “Every year Mysuru sees a lot of tourists who are keen to go towards villages and love to be in natural environment. If this project succeeds and picks up popularity, then Mysuru will be the first district in Karnataka to set the trend of agritourism,” she said.
Agritourism is a big hit in Rajasthan and is a tourism related to farms and ranches which provide various benefits to low-income farmers by supporting them to earn additional income, creating employment for rural youth, promoting handicraft and art and at the same time preserving the culture, she said.
In Mysuru region like in the rest of India, over 75 percent of population live in rural areas where the major occupation is agriculture and its allied activities. Therefore, in order to cope up with the unpredicted nature of agriculture and to release the financial strain on families, supporting activity like agritourism can help farmers by widening the scope of their earning.
“The opportunity holds immense potential due to its cost-effective nature, demand for family-oriented recreation environment, growing curiosity about farming and increased focus on promoting environmental consciousness. Villages can also hold cultural nights for tourists. Tourists will get the benefit of local cuisine made in villages and cultural programmes will make tourists aware of the local culture,” Shruthi explained.
As per the State Tourism Policy 2020-25, agritourism must encourage active involvement in the activities of the farm or its operations. It can include components like horticulture, orchards, gardens, vineyards, fish ponds, sericulture units, apiculture unit, dairy farming, and goat or piggery units. This part, activities such as farm camping, hands-on farming, picking fruits or vegetables, feeding animals, interactions with farmers on farming process from sowing to reaping must be included.