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3 April 2011

BANGALORE: Coast & coffee as opposed to hard rock & heritage. That's exactly how tourist inflow is divided between locals and foreigners travelling in Karnataka.

Coorg and Chikmagalur are the top Karnataka destinations this summer, According to the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC), the state is seeing an increase of 15% to 20% in tourist inflow. While people from Karnataka prefer Coorg and Chikmaglur for short stays, many visitors also come in from Maharashtra and Gujarat.

"Tourists from Maharashtra and even Gujarat connect easily with the Karwar coast and go to places like Gokarna, Dandeli and Murdeshwar by road. Some come to Coorg in summer. Though it's very warm, these destinations are popular. We haven't started compiling the data for 2011 yet but we can already see the increase in numbers," said director, KSTDC, Vishwanath Reddy.

He added that even though summer has just started, the increase in number of tourists shows that more people are travelling than ever before. Foreigners however, still prefer to do the Badami-Hampi-Aihole circuit which are the heritage destinations. "Most tourists always come to Mysore in Karnataka. But not just summer destinations, Karnataka's forte has always been heritage, so most international tourists are heading to Hampi," he added.