To provide publicity ahead of the inauguration of the newly constructed Mysore airport, the Tourism Department is flying a team of VIPs including Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and Art of Living founder Sri Ravishankar in a 65-seater chartered plane from HAL Airport in Bangalore to Mysore on September 19 for them to take part in the inauguration of the Dasara festivities.

Addressing presspersons here on Wednesday, Tourism and Infrastructure Minister G. Janardhan Reddy said the VIP team would also include Ministers and legislators.

Dasara tourism is literally set to reach new heights this season as the Tourism Department will offer special packages to fly tourists by a 65-seater Kingfisher chartered plane from Bangalore to promote air connectivity to Mysore.

The speciality of this two-day, one-night package, which will be operated for five days from September 22 — the day of inauguration of the new airport — is that it is subsidised. The cost of the entire package, which includes sight-seeing in and around Mysore, night-stay and food, will be Rs. 5,500 a person as against the actual cost of Rs. 9,000. The package has been priced at Rs. 9,900 a couple, Rs. 13,900 for three persons and Rs. 17,900 for a family of four, the Minister said.

Mr. Reddy said the package cost included entrance tickets to various tourist places and the pick-up from Badami House to HAL Airport in Bangalore from where the chartered plane would take off.

Night stay facility will be provided at Hotel Mayura River View on the banks of the Cauvery in Srirangapatna, which has 22 rooms. In addition to this, a private hotel has also been booked to provide accommodation under this special Dasara package.

The Minister said those interested in availing themselves of this package could contact any of the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation’s (KSTDC) tour operators.

Weekend packages

After this five-day exercise, the KSTDC has decided to operate chartered plane tourist packages on weekends to Mysore and Hampi from cities such as Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai and Goa. This package was expected to be offered in about three months. It would be extended to weekdays depending upon the response.

Similarly, the KSTDC will operate chartered flights from Bangalore to Hampi in January 2010 on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Vijayanagar emperor Krishnadevaraya’s coronation.

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