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Wednesday, 17 May, 2017, 18 : 00 PM [IST]

Karnataka Tourism Minister demands more direct flights to Bengaluru from int’l cities

Plans major branding of Bengaluru as a tourist hub
Karnataka Tourism Minister has demanded more direct flights to Bengaluru from international cities so that the city in general and the state in particular can benefit from more tourist footfalls. Priyank Kharge, Minister of Tourism and IT, Government of Karnataka in his recent meeting with Union Civil Aviation Minister, Ashok Gajapathi Raju has asked for more direct flights to the city. “I went and spoke to the Union Civil Aviation Minister. We want more international flights to land directly in Bengaluru so that we have more footfalls in the city,” Kharge said while speaking to TravelBiz Monitor on the sidelines of an award event by HolidayIQ in the city last week.

The Minister said that a major initiative to create a “brand identity” for the city of Bengaluru is currently on. The objective is to develop “curated experiences” in Bengaluru for visitors and tourists, he added.“Anybody landing in the city doesn’t need to ask anyone what to do, where to go, etc.  We are planning to curate the entire city for visitors with VR and AR experience,” the Minister said.

The Minister said that as part of branding the city, the Karnataka government and Tourism Department are also planning to develop appropriate merchandises which marks the tangible and intangible aspects of the city which visitors can take back  with them.

Earlier speaking at the award event, Kharge said that the government is taking many “disruptive” initiatives in the tourism sector by involving technology start ups.  He said that 12 innovative ideas selected and validated by experts are given grants to develop them for the benefit of the sector.

Karnataka Tourism’s ‘2017 Year of the Wild’ campaign has been quite successful in the sense that there has been “a surge in occupancies of over 25%” in eco-lodges run by the Tourism Department, he said.
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