Mysore, Apr 13 UNI | 4 months ago

The Karnataka government's decision to announce a new tourism policy which will give a thrust to the industry has been widely welcomed.

This comes in view of the slight setback that the sector has experienced in the recent past and is of particular relevance to Mysore which is a destination for all seasons.

A regional tourism authority is needed in Mysore to come out with long term plans, develop lesser known tourist places and sustain the tourism industry as whole, experts feel.

Tourism Department sources told

UNI that Mysore continues to retain its top slot among the domestic tourists given the myriad things to do from reliving the historical era and savouring its architectural grandeur to visiting the jungles of Nagarahole and Bandipur to appreciate wildlife in their natural splendour.

As a pilgrim destination, it continues to attract tourists all year round to Chamundi Hills as also Nanjangud while those with a penchant for the eclectic combine it with a trip to Bylakuppe and soak in the culture of the Tibetans to be mesmerised by the beauty of the golden temple.

An ideal base camp to explore nature at its pristine in the neighbouring Kodagu with its rich forests teeming with wildlife as also visit Belur-Halebidu-Shravanabelagola group of monuments, Mysore's tourism potential has grown significantly in the last ten years. This is evident in the statistics as also the investments pumped in by private players in the hospitality sector. From a figure of nearly 1.5 million, the number of tourists visiting Mysore crossed the three million mark three years ago and has remained steady.

But it would be suicidal if the writing on the wall in bold letters was not read and digested by the authorities and the stakeholders. For, the number of tourists visiting Mysore has begun to decline if the year-on-year statistics are taken into account.

The region's tourism achieved a major milestone during the period January to December 2010 by touching the three million mark for the first time ever. It increased the tourists' footfall by half-a-million in one year and 2011 was the best ever in the history of Mysore tourism as nearly 3.5 million tourists came in. But from then on, the slide has been steady though the figures continue to be over three million. From January to December in 2012, the number of tourists visiting Mysore declined to 3.2 million.

The figures are below the 3.5 million mark even if the statistics for the financial year April through March for 2012-13 are taken into account. The number of tourists who visited Mysore during this period was down to 3.30 million, as per the statistics available from the Mysore Palace Board.

These figures are taken to be a barometer to assess the tourist flow (based on the actual number of tickets sold for palace entry) as it is reasoned that no tourist ignores the Amba Vilas Palace if visiting Mysore for the first time.

(Posted on 13-04-2014)