Mysore being one of the popular cities in the world, there is a need to identify city’s USP (Unique Selling Proportion) to promote tourism, said Aravind Jadhav, Addl. Chief Secretary, Department of Tourism, Government of Karnataka.

He was speaking after inaugurating a seminar on ‘Mysore as the most preferred international tourist destination- Bottlenecks and Solutions’ organised by Rotary Mysore West at Windflower Resorts in city yesterday.

The seminar was organised as a curtain raiser for ‘GoBeyond-Leisure and Lifestyle Expo-2013’ to be held at Maharaja College Grounds from Aug. 9 to 11.

Stating that Mysoreans were obsessed with Bangalore, he said Mysoreans have been demanding air connectivity to Bangalore. Instead, there should be a demand to connect Mysore to cities such as Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi beyond Karnataka.

Mysore, though being a popular city, has not grown up to the expected level. For a city to become a major tourist attraction it is important to have connectivity, said Jadhav. He also demanded direct rail connectivity to Hampi, the world heritage site, saying that nobody wanted to reach Hampi via Bangalore.

Referring to the age-old tradition of ‘Athiti Devo Bhava’ (Guest is God), Jadhav said it was major roadblock for tourism development. He said tourism should be treated as a business and not a service. He also stated that lack of vision was clouding the development of tourism in city.

Jadhav urged participants to learn from the mistakes in Bangalore and work for the sustainable development of tourism. He said tourists should feel worth living in the city for Mysore to become one of the major tourist attractions in the world. He said there is no need for corporate companies to develop a park under Corporate Social Responsibility, instead they should be made to invest in the future.

Speaking about airport expansion, Jadhav said the plan was there from 2008. Since land issues had to be resolved, the expansion was not taken up. The airport was not equipped to accommodate 747 aircrafts. If the airport has to be expanded, then there is a need for additional lands which people are not ready to provide.

He also mentioned that according to a survey, operating flights between Mysore and Bangalore would never yield profits to air operators. Instead, flights from Mysore to Chennai, Goa, Mumbai and Delhi would bring in good business.

Jadhav advised people to capitalise the heritage tag given to Mysore, which can act as a major tourism booster, and spoke about Rs. 100 crore earmarked for city’s tourism sector. He announced that the Department of Tourism had plans to build art and crafts village in Mysore for which they were in search of a suitable location.

“There is a need to come up with coffee table books that inform about different places in Mysore. Establishing interpretive centers were also important. The tragedy of Mysore is that the royal family has not been included in the plan to develop tourism. There should be a package where the tourists will get to meet the royal family,” he said.

Referring to night-life in Mysore, Jadhav said the city was dead after 5.30 pm. Tourists do not have any avenues to spend their evenings. There is a need to come up with a proper plan to cater to the needs of people from all walks of life. Jadhav also advised the Rotary members to come up with a committee to deliberate on the measures to be taken to make the city a sought after tourist destination.

Rotary West had invited speakers to deliberate on topics related to tourism. Dy. Commissioner C. Shikha speaking on ‘Infrastructure Development,’ said measures would be taken to improve the infrastructure in Mysore. “We are thinking about linking National Highway to the Outer Ring Road, which would pave way for airport expansion,” she added.

P.V. Giri, Managing Director, Windflower Resorts & Spa, mentioned about the problems being faced by the hoteliers to get clearance from authorities to run their businesses. Dr. Talavane Krishna, Founder, Indus Valley Ayurvedic Centre, expressed about the problems faced by him with respect to getting land records and the delays in getting clear title deeds.

Dr. Shalini Urs, Founder Chairperson, Myra School of Business, said there was a need for a holistic approach to promote tourism. Referring to Education as one of the tourism attractions, she said people have been coming to India from ancient times to pursue their education.

Yogacharya Bharath Shetty of Ananda Yoga India spoke about the importance of yoga in promoting tourism. Vinay Parameshwarappa, Founder & CEO of Royal Mysore Walks, said Mysore’s cuisine and other specialties such as Mysore Silk, Sandalwood, Masala Dosa, Jasmine needed to be used to promote tourism.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore