The southern state Karnataka budget has given special emphasis towards promoting tourism in Karnataka in general and its coastal districts in particular, said tourism minister Janardhana Reddy said.
While the total out lay for promotion of tourism is Rs 257 crore, Reddy said the three coastal districts would get Rs 50 crore with special focus on developing beach tourism including development of Malpe beach in Udupi.
Interacting with reporters, Reddy said special development plans are being floated for St Mary’s Island and Malpe beach. A sum of Rs 6 crore will be spent on setting up statue of philosopher saint Madhwacharya on Malpe beach as well as a 125-feet high statue of Lord Krishna there. This project entails creating a pictorial description of the saint proceeding towards Udupi with his disciples holding the idol of Lord Krishna in his hand.
Around 30 cents of land belonging to Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation will be utilised for providing better infrastructure to tourists who visit St Mary’s Island, he said. Likewise, the tourism department and the Karnataka State Industrial Investment and Development Corporation will promote the golf course and aqua marine park at Tannirbhavi beach in Mangalore at a cost of Rs 350-crore on a PPP basis, he noted.
Asked if the budgetary allocation was adequate to promote tourism in Karnataka, Reddy said budgetary support might become redundant given that the department is moving aggressively to promote the state on a PPP model. “We will invite investors and entrepreneurs to invest in tourism related project, offering them necessary incentives to take forward the aim of project Karnataka as a potential tourism hub in India,” he said.