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Karnataka can attract 15 crore domestic tourists by 2019: Assocham

Bengaluru: Karnataka can attract over 15 crore domestic tourists and about 10 lakh foreigners by 2019 if the state promotes more inclusive tourism policies and infrastructure development said a study conducted by industry body ASSOCHAM.

Domestic tourist visits in Karnataka can grow at a rate of about six per cent considering the recent trends of rise in domestic tourist visits together with improvement seen in physical infrastructure, rise in income and an increasing thrust on tourism promotion by state government, said the study.

It added with an year-on-year growth of over 13 per cent, Karnataka recorded over six lakh foreign tourist visits in 2015. However, it must further develop necessary tourist infrastructure and promote several other potential cities.

“The state government should look towards promoting tourism circuit concept by grouping together a number of tourist destinations and offer the same as a package. Such circuits can be formed through conjunction of sites in order to offer the travellers with a more complete experience,” ASSOCHAM Karnataka Regional Development Council Chairman Shivakumar said.

With about 12 per cent share in total investments attracted by hotels and tourism industry across the country, Karnataka ranked third after Maharashtra (17 per cent) and Gujarat (14.5 per cent), the research report said. The state attracted investments worth over Rs 11,000 crore of the total outstanding investments worth over Rs 93,400 crore attracted by the hotels and tourism industry in India as of June 2016.

The share of domestic tourists travelling within India has increased from 95.5 per cent in 1991 to over 98 per cent in 2015. Share of foreign tourists has decreased significantly from 4.5 per cent to 1.6 per cent during this period, the study said.

The number of domestic tourists has increased from about 67 million in 1991 to 1,432 million in 2015. The number of foreign tourists visiting India increased from about three million to 23 million during the same period, it added.

Tamil Nadu lead in attracting maximum domestic tourists with a share of over 23 per cent in the total (143 crore) domestic tourist visits in 2015 followed by Uttar Pradesh (14 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (8.5 per cent) and Karnataka (8.4 per cent).

West Bengal recorded the highest year-on-year (2014-2015) growth rate of over 43 per cent in number of domestic tourist visits. It was followed by Telangana (30.5 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (30.3 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (22.6 per cent) and Gujarat (17.4 per cent), the study added.

Musafir Namah Bureau

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