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Karnataka - Mysore Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Royal city set to attract Western Europe

By Our Staff Correspondent

MYSORE, OCT. 11. Move over Jaipur. It is "Destination Mysore''. Stirred out of its limbo and buoyed by the entry of the marketing whiz-kids, the royal city is suddenly on the fast track to emerging as an international brand in the Western European tourism market because of Dasara.

For, Destination Mysore is being packaged as "the place'' to visit to savour a slice of oriental heritage and culture replete with a good measure of art and history in a bid to lure niche tourists.

With Dasara emerging as the fulcrum to market the city's potential, Mysore will now play host to a group of high-profile travel writers and high-end travel companies from Italy to showcase its unique heritage and culture.

The group also includes mediapersons specialising in the tourism and leisure industry. They will now showcase Mysore to a large audience in France, Italy and other countries.

Guided tour

The group will visit Mysore this week to familiarise itself with the tourism potential of the city and its unique heritage.

The guided tour includes the usual places of interest — Chamundi Hills, Mysore Palace, art gallery, St. Philomena's Church and a ride around the city.

But it will also witness the traditional ceremony and the private durbar of the royal family in the palace, which is restricted to a few select invitees.

Mysore will be packaged with the historic town of Srirangapatna and the guided tour includes the ramparts of the fort, Dariya Daulat, Gumbaz, Tipu's Palace, and Sriranganathaswamy Temple following which the group will move over to the Kabini backwaters to get a glimpse of the wild and the beautiful before going over to Kerala.

`Deccan Dream'

The visit of the top travel companies of Italy and travel writers from Europe to Mysore is due to the efforts of Pyramid Holidays and Tours Pvt Ltd., Bangalore, whose long-term objective is to bring chartered tourists to the city.

S. Emmanuel Devapriya, Director, Planning and Marketing, Pyramid Holidays, told The Hindu that the Mysore-Srirangapatna circuit was part of its "Deccan Dream'' package which was unveiled at Milan in Italy recently. He said it evoked good response from the travel companies.

"Deccan Dream" was also being packaged to cover heritage, culture, nature and adventure and rejuvenation. The Mysore-Srirangapatna leg was being packaged with Belur and Halebid and would commence from Bangalore. As a preview, the group watched a documentary and live performances of local folk groups in Bangalore on Monday, Mr. Devapriya said.

The Mysore leg of the tour covered heritage, culture, nature and adventure as the entire region was replete with historic structures while the carvings and sculptures at Belur and Halebid had been described as poetry in stone by the heritage buffs.

Wildlife and adventure was best savoured at the Kabini backwaters and Jungle Lodges and Resorts would play host to the group.

However, the Kerala leg was being packaged to cater to the rejuvenation aspect of the conducted tour.

Explaining the significance of the exercise, Mr. Devapriya pointed out that the high-profile group visiting Mysore this week commanded more than 50 per cent of the market share of the Italian tourists headed to South and South East Asia.

The impact of "Deccan Dream" package could help lure at least 15 per cent of the vast market to South India. "We expect positive results in eight months and one can easily expect foreign tourists from Western Europe to increase. But our long-term objective is to bring chartered tourists to the region and Bangalore should emerge as the gateway to the South,'' Mr. Devapriya said.

Another landmark and heritage building in the city, Hotel Metropole, which will be officially inaugurated after the recent restoration and renovation work, will accommodate the Italian delegation and the travel writers.

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