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Thrust On Tourism, Connectivity At Business Development Summit
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Thrust On Tourism, Connectivity At Business Development Summit

‘Shoring up infrastructure is critical to growth of the tourism industry'

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/article3375293.ece

02 May 2012


Mysore: The Mysore Region Business Development Summit to be held in the city on Friday to attract investors has brought tourism and connectivity back into focus, underlining their importance to the local economy.

The summit is a joint initiative by the Federation of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) and the Mysore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI).

The authorities have identified knowledge-based sectors such as Information Technology and Biotechnology and manufacturing industries as the areas of focus to attract entrepreneurs.

But, there will be a special thrust on tourism in view of its importance to Mysore and surrounding regions.

With an estimated three million tourists visiting Mysore every year, questions have been raised by stakeholders on whether the city can sustain the boom without adequate infrastructure development.

K.S. Nagapati, director, Mahajana Tourism Development Institute, told The Hindu that augmenting accommodation capacity, development of new destinations and improved connectivity were critical to the growth of the tourism industry in Mysore.

Accommodation

“The city has nearly 120 to 140 hotels; budget hotels as well as high-end and luxury hotels. However, if the aim is to attract five million tourists in the next five to 10 years, then investments in new properties should be encouraged to sustain the boom,” said Prof. Nagapati, who pointed out that Mysore has emerged as a great weekend destination in recent years. In addition, authorities should develop new destinations while facilities should be shored up in popular places such as Brindavan Gardens, said Prof. Nagapati, who also mooted the idea of establishing a Karnataka Darshan — a one-stop cultural and amusement centre.

“Tourists should get a chance to experience the culture of Karnataka, its culture, folk art, cuisines, apart from being able to purchase handicrafts of different regions,” he said.

S. Bhanuchandran, industrial consultant, pointed out that the city's tourism potential need not be confined to holiday-makers, and underlined Mysore's potential to be an important MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibition) destination so as to attract company executives and CEOs to hold their conferences.

Mr. Bhanuchandran said that this category of business tourism was gaining popularity across the world and held great potential for a place such as Mysore where a couple of convention centres with state-of-the-art facilities were already in place. The organisers should seek investment in developing more facilities for MICE for which air connectivity also was an important issue, he added.

The FKCCI and the MCCI have noted the imperatives of improved connectivity not only for Mysore, but the entire region comprising Mandya, Chamarajanagar, Kodagu, Hassan and Chikmagalur.

At the summit

The organisers of the summit will draw the attention of entrepreneurs and investors to the impending completion of the track-doubling work between Mysore and Bangalore and the benefits arising out of it due to reduced commuting time between the two cities.

The organisers have dedicated two of the five sessions to these subjects during the summit.