Karnataka unveils new Tourism Policy 2009-14

Bangalore: Karnataka government has set an ambitious target of luring Rs25,000 crore investment under the new Tourism Policy 2009-14 unveiled by it today.

The policy seeks to turn the state into a most sought-after tourism destination, tourism minister G Janardhana Reddy told reporters here.

All 176 taluks of the state will be covered under five categories for promoting tourism under the policy which offers incentives ranging from Rs15 lakh to Rs30 lakh, besides exemption in stamp duty and cent per cent entertainment tax.

The government has plans to encourage adventure sports like scuba diving, mountaineering, river-rafting, para-gliding besides fishing, cruise and heli tourism, the minister said.

The policy also provides for promoting medical tourism through setting up of six hotel management institutes for which the Centre has promised Rs20 crore grant each.

Son-et-Lumeire (sound and light music programme) would commence at Mysore palace before January next and similar shows would be organised at heritage tourism centres like Bidar, Bijapur, Chitradurga, Kittur, Hampi, Srirangapatna, Aihole, Pattadakal and Bellary, Reddy said.

Reddy said the new policy was investor friendly and focused on promoting home stays and resorts.