Udupi: Minister for Higher Education and Tourism, R V Deshpande, said that the state government will soon announce a new tourism policy.
He was addressing the gathering after the Guddali Puja of Nalkuru Jomlu, Thenkanidiyoor Kodavoor, Santhekatte Jomlu road work at Thenkanidiyoor here on Wednesday, April 8.
He said that the new tourism policy is ready. “It will give a boost to tourism related activities and will generate employment. Basic infrastructure has to be improved to increase employment opportunities and also generate revenue. There was a plan to give a boost to infrastructure in the tourism sector. There are ample opportunities for the promotion of tourism in the state,” he said.
“A total of 319 tourist spots will be developed. It would not be possible to develop all the spots simultaneously. Corporate companies will be entrusted with the responsibility to provide basic facilities and maintain cleanliness in tourist places. The government will have ownership of the tourist spots,” the minister said.
“The guides at tourist spots do not have knowledge of other languages. Hence, the department of tourism has decided to select and train guides. Guides will be paid honorarium by the government and will not be considered as government employees. Selected guides will be taught English, Hindi, Russian and French languages. Along with training in languages, they will be taught about culture, lifestyle, folk arts and history of the place. A guide will be deployed at every tourist spot. Contribution of tourism to the revenue of the country is only 6.1 percent while it is 15 per cent in countries like Cambodia, Singapore and Malaysia,” he added.
The recommendations have urged the government to provide suitable roads, drinking water and toilet facilities at tourist spots. It has also given emphasis on safety and security of the tourists.
The state government is planning to introduce Karnataka Tourism Trade Bill in the state. The bill will be aimed at facilitating, regulating and promoting the tourism trade; the constitution of the State Tourism Council; registration recognition and grading of tourism trade at tourist destinations and licensing of tour guides.
The bill also provides for raising a ‘tourist mitra’ cadre to ensure the safety of the tourists; prohibition of certain activities in tourist destinations; protection and maintenance of tourist destinations; collection of statistical information from service providers and establishment of database on tourism, he said.
Government colleges have also adopted technology-based teaching. The state government will introduce Smart Classes at government degree colleges soon. Similarly, Tele-Education solutions will be implemented in degree colleges. Starting smart/virtual classes would help the government address complaints of staff shortage.
“With the help of smart classes, expert lecturers of a subject can pre-record classes, so that they could be projected in the classroom. Such a measure would ensure affordable and quality education to students in government colleges. After a hiatus of five years, the higher education department has decided to recruit 2,200 lecturers for degree colleges across the state,” he said.
To provide basic facilities to 10 government engineering colleges in the state, Rs 26 crore has been released. Government has prioritized the construction of full-fledged laboratories in all engineering colleges. Vacancies of teaching staff will be filled soon.
On the occasion, minister R V Deshpande sanctioned Rs 9 lakhs for drinking water and Rs 30 lakhs for the Library project while also promising Rs 80 lakhs for the indoor auditorium of Government First Grade College, Thenkanidiyoor.
Udupi MLA Pramod Madhwaraj, Thenkanidiyoor Grama Panchayat president Meena Lorina Pinto, vice president Prakhyath Shetty, KSDL chairperson Veronica Cornelio, UDDA chairman Janardhan Thonse, CMC President Yuvaraj, ZP member Mallika Balakrishna, Gopi K Naik, TP member Shobha, Rehamathulla and others were present on the occasion.