KSTDC launches Special Dasara Tour Package

MYSORE: Dasara Vihaara, a special tour package of the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) for tourists from Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad who want to fly to Mysore for the Dasara festivities this year and visit tourist spots in and around the City of Palaces, begins on October 10.

The two-day one-night package includes two-way airfare, airport transfers, sightseeing of Mysore, Chamundi Hills, Srirangapatna, Brindavan Gardens and Somanathapur in an air-conditioned bus, overnight accommodation at the luxurious Lalit Mahal Hotel, meals, and entry permits at tourist places.

KSTDC and Kingfisher Airlines will jointly operate the all-inclusive tour package, which, according to KSTDC, is attractive and value-for-money.

Tourists will be flown to Mysore from Chennai and Hyderabad in addition to Bangalore. Last year, tourists were flown in by chartered flights (Kingfisher) from Bangalore as commercial flights were yet to be operated to Mysore.

Kingfisher Airlines launched commercial flights between Bangalore and Mysore on October 1 and therefore, tourists buying this package will be booked in these flights.

The package costs Rs. 6,000 a passenger and Rs. 11,500 for two passengers from Bangalore; Rs. 8,000 a passenger and Rs. 15,000 for two passengers from Chennai, and Rs. 9,000 a passenger and Rs. 17,000 for two passengers from Hyderabad.

"Within a few hours after bookings opened on Tuesday, KSDTC received many reservations. Bookings may get over soon going by the response. Seats are limited as tourists will be brought in by commercial flights instead of chartered flights," sources in the KSTDC told The Hindu.

Perhaps, the attractive price tag and the stay offer at the Lalit Mahal Palace Hotel could have encouraged tourists to opt for the package. This is the second year that KSTDC is offering the special package to promote Dasara.

Last year, KSTDC's special package to fly tourists in on a 65-seat Kingfisher chartered plane from Bangalore to Mysore was a big hit. Five chartered flights were operated to the city from Bangalore during the Dasara last year. Nearly 400 tourists had bought the tour package then.

The package is available from October 10 to October 15 and October 18 to October 21. As Kingfisher does not operate fights to Mysore on Saturday, the package, therefore, is not available on Saturday.

KSTDC had operated chartered flights from Bangalore to Hampi and also from Chennai and Hyderabad for the Hampi Utsav. The response was excellent and KSTDC plans to fly tourists in for this year's utsav too, the sources added.

Meanwhile, KSTDC has been carrying out an extensive campaign overseas and in India for Dasara for the past six months.

"The corporation has worked for almost six months to promote Karnataka tourism across India and abroad. Mysore Dasara has been included in the promotional campaign. We are hopeful of a good tourist turnout for this Dasara," said Ratnakar, officer in-charge of public relations, KSTDC, Bangalore.

He said that Dasara was promoted at tour and travel fairs at Frankfurt and London recently and stalls had been put up at tourism exhibitions in Paris, Tokyo and Macau. "We are confident of the event drawing many international tourists and the number may go up this time because of our campaign," he said.

He said road shows were conducted in Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Cochin, Ahmedabad, Surat, Mumbai, Pune and Jaipur in the recent months to bring tourists to Karnataka.