Mysuru Haat at an estimated cost of Rs. 125 crore on cards, says C.P. Yogeeshwar
Mysore/Mysuru: Minister for Tourism, Ecology and Environment C.P. Yogeeshwar said that the State was committed to boost tourism to earn handsome revenue and to provide direct and indirect employment to lakhs of people.
“In any profession, there is a minimum qualification. Only in tourism there is no such mandatory rule where people can cash-in on just an idea,” he said.
Speaking after inaugurating Connect-2021, a stakeholder networking initiative, organised by the Department of Tourism and Karnataka Tourism Society (KTS) at Hotel Radisson Blu in city last evening, the Minister said that the State gets a sizeable portion of revenue from tourism and along with this, many industries like the hotel industry, travel sector and allied professions survive.
Each district’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP) will be identified and efforts will be made to brand the products attractively and appealingly. Brand value will be promoted and extensively publicised, he said.
“Karnataka has immense potential to become a world-class destination and the Department of Tourism is being supported to globally market the State. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism contributed 14.8 percent towards the State’s GDP and supported over 16 million jobs. We need to make it 20 percent,” he said.
Special package for tourism sector
“In the coming days, we will strive to give the tourists what they want and will provide facilities to give a fillip to tourism,” he said. The Minister said he had met Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and urged him to announce a special package for tourism sector in the ensuing Budget and expressed confidence of developing the industry post-pandemic.
Mysuru will get priority for tourism development and the existing airport will be upgraded to international standards with an extended runway, he added. “A Mysuru Haat at an estimated cost of Rs. 125 crore will come up at Karnataka Exhibition Grounds and it will be a cultural and commercial activity centre on all the 365 days,” he said.
Yogeeshwar noted that hotels that are struggling to bounce back after the pandemic situation will get support from the Government and industrial status will be given to them. Mysore Airport Director Manjunath pitched for extension of the existing runway to enable bigger planes to land. This will provide the much-needed boost to all the sectors including tourism and hospitality, he said.
Tourism Principal Secretary T.K. Anil Kumar said Karnataka is home to a large and exciting portfolio of globally-acclaimed tourism products with many UNESCO world heritage sites, wildlife sanctuaries, and scenic beaches.
K. Shyamaraju, President, KTS, said Connect-2021 will enable hospitality and tourism sectors to promote products by creating networking opportunity with other marketing organisations and professionals.
“We will host the second edition of Karnataka International Travel Expo (KITE) in August this year and it will attract delegates from over 30 countries seeking opportunities in the tourism ecosystem,” Yogeeshwar announced.
Memorandum to Minister
On the occasion, President of Mysuru Hotel Owners’ Association C. Narayanagowda submitted a memorandum to Yogeeshwar to accord priority to Mysuru tourism and help the ailing hotel industry to survive.
Among the points mentioned in the memorandum, there is Dasara Authority, a Tourism Authority that comprises Mysuru, Mandya, Kodagu, Chamarajanagar, ropeway at Chamundi Hill, industrial status to hotel industry and bringing back Film City to Mysuru.
MLA L. Nagendra, MUDA Chairman H.V. Rajeev, actress and KSTDC Chairperson Shruthi, Karnataka Exhibition Authority Chairman Hemanth Kumar Gowda and stakeholders from the tourism industry were present.
The biggest “gift” the Tourism Minister of KA can give the people and tourists from other states/countries is not to create an ecological disaster particularly in the Western Ghats, in the name of development. We have already seen the kind of natural/manmade disasters in Coorg during the previous monsoons. Further tampering with ecology will lead only to bigger disasters and may also affect the Cauvery/Kabini rivers, on which milions are dependent for drinking water and farming, in three states.