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Heritage city tag for Mysore shortly

Mysore city, known for its heritage buildings, palaces and popular tourist spots, is expected to get a heritage city brand shortly.

The Department of Tourism has made this proposal to the State Government and it is being considered seriously, Commissioner of Tourism G. Kumar Naik of the Government of Karnataka said in Mysore.

“Heritage tag will help retain the old heritage charm of Mysore and give a boost to tourism in this city of unmatched charm and culture,” he said addressing the seminar on “Infrastructure – Mysore city, an emerging destination for industrial growth,” organized by the Confederation of Indian Industries, Mysore city as part of its annual members’ meet.

Two consultants have been appointed to prepare a masterplan for Mysore. The perspective comprised of retaining and improving the city’s old charm and culture by improving tourist facilities and addition of tourist spots and make it a tourist hub of both worlds, tourism and industries.

“While airport is indeed a possibility, some of the leading corporates, apart from Infosys and Wipro, are already heading towards Mysore,” he said underlining the need to locate them outside the city so that Mysore’s charm is not disturbed. “Mysore’s growth should be based on the experiences of Bangalore,” he added.

In the next few years, the corridor linking Bangalore-Mysore had chances of emerging as a big industry and technology corridor with Bangalore as the gateway equipped with world-class infrastructure and facilities.

Naik thanked the Infosys for gifting Rs. one crore for the improvement of the Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion, one of the royal buildings, which housed the Folk Arts Museum of the Mysore University and disclosed that the Government of India had granted Rs. 75 lakh for redoing its interior.

He foresaw Dasara emerging as a “star tourism festival, outmatching the famous Pushkar festival” and the city becoming the biggest employer in tourism in the next five years with theme parks, spas, heritage villages and the like.

The existing tourism policy of the State is expiring in May and a new policy would be announced before then. “Mysore will find a multitude of opportunities in it,” he said indicating that it might be placed in the centre of tourism activity in the State.

One of the future plans, he said was establishment of a full-fledged tourism institute in the State, on the lines of the National Law School.

Quoting figures, Naik said 808 million tourists gave a global revenue of Rs. 633 million and help add 220 million jobs in 2005-06. By next five years, this was expected to grow by a million more.

The arrival of 5.4 lakh international tourists provided a 14 per cent share of the Indian tourism market for Karnataka. The domestic travellers’ figures stood at 2.7 million, a market share of 2.7 per cent. Karnataka stood fourth in all-India tourist arrivals, but Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Tamil Nadu were ahead of it and hence there was a challenge before Karnataka.

To meet this challenge, the Tourism Commissioner said his department was launching a major investment campaign to attract investments in tourism, including infrastructure.

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