Karnataka tourism minister HK Patil opposes casinos for boosting tourism

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In a recent address at the ‘Karnataka Tourism Policy 2024-29’ workshop, Karnataka’s Tourism Minister HK Patil highlighted the necessity of a collaborative approach involving the government, public, and private sectors for the development of tourism in the state. Minister Patil, however, rejected the proposal of introducing casinos as a means to increase tourism revenue.

As reported by Asia Net Newsabel, the workshop, organized by the Karnataka Tourism Department at a private hotel in the city on Wednesday, provided a platform for various stakeholders to present their suggestions. Among these was the idea of adopting a Goa-like model, which includes the establishment of casinos, to attract tourists and boost revenue. Minister Patil dismissed this idea, stating, “I firmly believe that we cannot develop tourism by permitting casinos. The government will outright reject such suggestions.”

The new tourism policy aims to uplift Karnataka as a tourist destination, emphasizing investment, infrastructure, heritage, and technology. Minister Patil highlighted the need for a collective effort from all stakeholders to achieve this goal. “We are not just convening meetings of politicians and officials to formulate policies. We are seeking advice and opinions from all stakeholders, including transport companies, hotel and restaurant owners, trade organizations, experts, and public associations at tourist destinations. This workshop is a platform for everyone to contribute,” he explained.

Minister Patil also noted the trend of luxury travel and highlighted the need to promote Karnataka’s art, heritage, historical and cultural sites, monuments, coasts, beaches, forests, waterfalls, and wildlife. He advocated for educational tours that provide knowledge, education, entertainment, and culture to children, and stressed the importance of religious, educational, agricultural, and adventure tourism.

Coastal sports and the development of the coastal region were highlighted as key areas of focus. “The government is committed to comprehensive tourism development, and we urge everyone to support us in this endeavour,” Minister Patil stated. He also mentioned the contribution of monuments to tourism and the government’s ongoing efforts to protect them. “We have already started conservation work by adopting 12 monuments. The development of infrastructure at world heritage sites should be a priority, and we need public support for this,” he said.

The workshop is part of the state’s tourism strategy, seeking to harness the wisdom of various sectors to position Karnataka as a top-tier tourist destination while maintaining ethical and cultural standards.