Tourism park near international airport: Janardhana Reddy

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Bangalore, June 26 (UNI) To tap the rich tourism potential in Karnataka, the Tourism Department has proposed to set up a state-of-the-art tourism park in over 3,000 acres near the new Bengaluru International Airport.

Addressing newspersons after holding a review meeting of the tourism department officials, Karnataka Tourism and Infrastructure Development Minister G Janardhana Reddy said a comprehensive tourist complex was planned at Nandi Hills near the international airport.

Mr Reddy said the proposed grand tourism park, the first of its kind in the country, would be built with private participation near Nandi Hills, which housed the summer retreat of Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan.

Unveiling his plans to tap the rich tourism potential of the state, the Minister said a proposal would be sent to the state government for constructing two infrastructure projects at Gokarna and Hampi. A master-plan was being prepared for the proposal, which included construction of both luxurious and budget hotels.

Noting that as many as 32 foreign tourists had been murdered in Karnataka in the recent past, he said to ensure the safety and well being of the visitors, there was a proposal to raise 'Green Police' on the lines of Kerala and Goa.

Mr Reddy said there were about 150 tourism department recognised guides working in different tourist places. The department had decided to give them a monthly 'honorarium' of Rs 1,000 after providing them a short-term training. Besides, the department had decided to pay a monthly honorarium to folk artists who were ready to present their skills before visiting tourists.

He said the rope-way project being executed at Chamundi Hills in Mysore was stalled for want of permission from the Union Environment Ministry. ''Efforts are being made to get early clearance as over 80 per cent of the project has been completed,'' he said.

The state government had decided to conduct a Tourist Audit to enumerate the number of foreign and domestic visitors to the State, he said.

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