Lack of basic facilities at tourist destinations and absence maps to guide tourists were among the problems highlighted by tour operators at an interactive session on tourism development here on Thursday.
The interactive session was organised as part of the World Tourism Day celebrations by the Tourism Department and the Dakshina Kannada district administration.
Vathika Pai, who operates Nirmala Travels, expressed the need for basic facilities such as washrooms at tourist destinations such as 1000-pillar Jain Basadi in Moodbidri.
“Foreign tourists visiting this place face problems. We do not find washrooms at many of the important tourist destinations. This reflects badly on the facilities here,” she said.
To this, Deputy Commissioner N.S. Channappa Gowda said he would take action to provide washrooms at the basadi and other tourist destinations.
Ms. Pai also expressed the need for a booklet that contained the roadmap of tourist places and also information about the number of restaurants.
“Presently, we are relying on maps of our own,” she said.
Maps of tourist destinations would be of use for travel desks of hotels, who could display the same and attract tourists.
To this, Mr. Gowda asked the Tourism Department to provide booklets, which were available at the Mangalore airport, to hotels in the city.
Gunakar Shetty, who is in the tourism industry for over two decades, expressed the need for improvement of roads. “It takes nearly two hours to come here from Manipal. Poor infrastructure prevents tourists from visiting places here,” he said.
J.K. Rao from Cruise and Dine spoke about the absence of drinking water facility at Bunder.
He sought docking facility for cruise he operated on the Phalguni river.
Bhagavan Das, founder of Pravasi Guide website, expressed the need to create awareness among people about tourism.
Mr. Das said many Mangaloreans were not aware of the exquisite tourism spots in Dakshina Kannada.
J. Saldanha, member of Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry, expressed the need for relaxation in the Coastal Regulatory Zone regulations for tourism development initiatives as had been done in Kerala and Goa.
Mr. Gowda said the State government was spending Rs. 18 crore on tourism development in the district.
The district administration was taking up many infrastructure development projects. The district had a good tourism potential as there were many visitors to pilgrimage centres and educational institutions.
“We need to take measures to attract attention of these visitors,” he said.
Yatish Baikampady from Panambur Beach Development Project and KCCI president Mohammed Ameen spoke.