Southern Indian state of Karnataka with the slogan ‘many states one world’ has established an active tourism police at leading tourist attractions to ensure safety of its esteemed visitors.Ms G Sathyavati, Secretary, Karnataka Tourism said: “Tourist Mitra (friend of the tourist) is a joint initiative by Karnataka Tourism and the department of police initiated in November last year. 174 home guards are deployed at 53 destinations in 13 districts of the state. These friendly police are also trained in soft skills to assist tourists with information and help whenever required.”
The state received 600,000 international and 120 million domestic tourists in 2015. It has varied attractions from modern to historic, cultural and wildlife and has identified 319 of those suitable for a planned visit.
Mr S A Hussain, Chairman, Karnataka Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) said: “As a first for any state, we have empanelled four private accreditation agencies to carry out the rating process for various tourism products and services including hotels & resorts, wayside amenities and tour operators. Accordingly, ratings based on detailed research and analysis from Brickwork Ratings India, India Ratings and Research, SMERA Ratings and Credit Analysis and Research of about 30,000 tourism products in the State will facilitate tourists in identifying suitable attractions for their visit.”
Government run 36 year old Jungle Lodges and Resorts is among the popular tourist destinations of Karnataka. It runs 17 both wildlife and tourist friendly properties in the wild across out the state. This means that any tourist circuit in the state can easily include any one or two of wilderness visits.
Mr Awtar Singh, Executive Director, Jungle Lodges and Resorts (JLR) said: “Karnataka has taken over the title ‘tiger state of India’ with highest numbers of big cats in the latest survey. Even on a business trip to Bengaluru, one can travel to Bannergatta on the outskirts of the city and spot a tiger. Sensitive approach well planned and developed camps and safe activities by JLR offer wildlife, beaches, nature and adventure.”
Tourist Mitras are dressed in uniformed jackets with logo and are deployed near the attractions. They work in co-ordination with local police in time of need. Ms Sathyavati said: “Tourists can approach these friendly police for help. With these safety measures and unbiased rated tourist attractions, we’re moving away from quantifying to quality tourism.”
Written by Anand & Madhura Katti