To attract tourists to Karnataka and to improve the sagging fortunes of the tourism sector, the State on Wednesday launched caravans to travel to important tourist destinations. The caravans will be deployed to Hampi, Gokarna, Badami, Kudremukh, Sakleshpur, Belur, Halebid, Sakrebail, and Kodagu. This facility comes in light of the tourism and hospitality sectors suffering losses (estimated at around ₹15,000 crores) because of the COVID-19 lockdown.
After launching the caravan service, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said that while tourism can be promoted with these services, they will also help in maintaining social distancing. He said that tourism had suffered heavy losses and was expecting more job losses, and the government was keen to help the sector recover. While the contribution of the tourism sector to the State GDP is about 14% now, efforts will be made to increase the sector’s share, he said. He added that the caravan facility would be extended to more tourist destinations in future.
He also said that he has directed the Tourism Department to implement in phases the development of 20 major places of tourist interest in the State.
Is it safe?
To ensure safety of tourists, the State Government will allow LuxeCampers to be parked on the premises of the state-run guest houses in tourist centres, forests and at the KSTDC hotel premises. In the first phase, the government will allow Caravan tourism in Hampi, Gokarna, Badami, Kudremukh, Sakaleshpura, Beluru, Halebidu, Sakrebailu and Kodagu. Yediyurappa said under the new tourism policy, the government will promote this safe initiative. He also appealed to all stakeholders to join hands to revive the sector. Tourism contributes to nearly 14 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Produce (GSDP), he said.
A sneak-peek into the LuxeCamper
With close to 200 square feet area, each LuxCamper comes with a seating area (with seat belts), two smart TVs, two converter beds including one queen-sized bed, a kitchenette with gas and induction stove, a kettle, toaster, a freezer to hold two weeks of food supply, a microwave, RO system and a refrigerator. It also has an incinerator toilet, a shower, awning with wind sensors and a cycle rack.
The package is capped at Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 for two adults per day. A two-day trip to Bheemeshwari will be around Rs 49,000 for two and a three-day package to Kabini would cost Rs 69,999.