100 Helipads across the State and Seaplane facility mooted
Bengaluru: Talks will be held with Kerala and Goa Governments to form a Tourism Circuit to attract more and more tourists to Karnataka, Goa and Kerala. Memorandums would be signed and modalities would be chalked out in this regard. The Tourism Circuit idea would benefit South Karnataka region including Mysuru and Kodagu as annually maximum number of tourists to Mysuru come from Kerala and even Tamil Nadu.
The decision to form the Tourism Circuit was taken at a high-level meeting of Tourism Department officials at Vidhana Soudha yesterday that was chaired by Minister for Tourism, Environment and Ecology C.P. Yogeeshwar. Top officers of the Department including Tourism Secretary and officers from the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation participated in the meeting.
It was decided to create 100 helipads across the State having basic facilities for take-off and landing and to give a final shape for Heliports (Heli Terminal) and helicopter docking and servicing stations in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangaluru, Hubballi, Hampi and Kalaburagi.
The Minister asked the officials to coordinate with technicians and people with knowledge of helicopter operations from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bengaluru and other flight firms to prepare an operation and feasibility report on making chopper flying affordable.
It was also decided at the meeting to invite suggestions from stakeholders for tourism promotion, interact with them and understand their needs and work towards achieving them to make Karnataka No.1 tourist destination in India.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism contributed 14.8 percent towards the State’s GDP and supported over 16 million jobs. “We intend to make it 20 percent of the GDP as Karnataka has immense potential to become a world-class destination and we have to globally market the State that has UNESCO World Heritage Sites, virgin beaches and resplendent waterfalls, undisturbed wildlife in many Wildlife Sanctuaries and Tiger Reserves,” Yogeeshwar told the officers. He directed officials to look into the possibility of introducing seaplane facility like it has been introduced in Gujarat. Seaplanes can connect tourists to various beaches and tourist spots along the beaches. It was decided at the meeting that talks would be held with private players operating such planes to come to Karnataka.