Mangalore, Sep 9, 2014, DHNS:

‘Tourism Facilitation Act will bring in transparency and clarity’

The Karnataka government proposes to formulate a new tourism policy and introduce Tourism Facilitation Act, to boost tourism potential in the State, said Minister for Higher Education and Tourism R V Deshpande.

He was speaking at a meeting to discuss on tourism development in three coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada and Udupi districts in Mangalore on Monday. The department has framed the draft of a new tourism policy based on suggestions of experts.

The draft is available on the tourism department website and is open for suggestions from general public. The draft policy will placed before the Cabinet soon. Tourism Facilitation Act too is formulated to bring in more transparency and clarity in the system and to provide good infrastructure to facilitate tourism, he said.

Devt of old port

The Minister declared of sanctioning Rs five crore for developing old port (Dhakke) area in Mangalore. The project intends to facelift the old deputy commissioner’s office by converting it as a museum, improve roads, develop art gallery etc, by retaining the heritage significance. Rs five crore will be released in the first phase. Instruction has been given to prepare a master plan. The basic idea is to develop Mangalore as a tourism district, he said.

Coastal tourism

Speaking about developing tourism in coastal areas, he said that the Central government has sanctioned Rs 50 crore for developing 21 beaches in Karnataka. The objective is to develop beaches in a uniform way. While the department will develop basic infrastructure in the beaches, private parties should come forward to promote tourism by establishing resorts, water sports etc.

He reiterated that tourism promotion was not just the responsibility of the government, but stakeholders too should join their hands. The department has passed an order to appoint a tourism consultant in each district and the process of appointment has begun, the Minister said.

Terming the coastal regulatory zone as a blockade in developing beaches, Deshpande said that tourism projects can not be taken up due to tight regulations. “The Tourism department has written to the Union Environment and Forest Ministry to relax CRZ rules upto 90 metres in 44 beaches in coastal Karnataka, following which the ministry formed a committee which visited Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala beaches. We are hopeful that the committee will favour relaxation of rules,” he said.

Meanwhile, he directed the deputy commissioner to invite graduates to undergo training to become tourist guides. The tourism department will train them with skills and languages, by offering monthly stipend. After undergoing the training, the candidates can take up the job of tourist guides independently, he said.

Earlier, Tourism Advisory Group led by Ramadas Kamath presented before the minister the beach tourism potential and requirements. They presented the idea of developing three smart beaches with world class facilities, in Panambur, Malpe and Karwar.

Health and Family Welfare Minister U T Khader stressed on addressing the problems of sea erosion and encroachment of coast, before taking up development works in beaches.
District-in-Charge Minister B Ramanath Rai, MLA J R lobo, MLC Ivan D’Souza and others were present.

Courtesy: Deccan Herald