KARNATAKA

Second batch sets off for `Unforgettable Weekend'

WAVING OFF: Tourism Commissioner G. Kumar Naik flags off the `Unforgettable Weekend' expedition in Bangalore on Monday.

WAVING OFF: Tourism Commissioner G. Kumar Naik flags off the `Unforgettable Weekend' expedition in Bangalore on Monday.  



Staff Reporter

The 13 participating families will visit Chikmagalur, Belur and Halebeed

Group escorted by tourist agency Bangalore WalksMore such trips planned for the next 45 days

BANGALORE: The expedition of the second batch of vacationers participating in the "Unforgettable Weekend" programme was flagged off on Saturday from here by Tourism Commissioner G.Kumar Naik. Thirteen families left the city on a tour of coffee district Chikmagalur and to visit the ancient temples of Belur and Halebeed. The group was escorted by Bangalore Walks, a reputed tourist guide agency specialising in nature and heritage trips.

Success

Addressing the gathering, Mr. Naik said, "We have already received information from hoteliers in Chitradurga and Hampi regarding the success of the trip made by the first batch. Apparently, more families and groups have begun driving down from Bangalore to these places for vacationing. This speaks of our campaign's success among Bangaloreans. However, it is only a model for private operators to emulate."

More such "Unforgettable Weekend" trips were being planned for the next 45 days, when many families were likely to be on holidays, he said.

The packages would include trips to eco-tourism destinations such as Chararajanagar and heritage spots in the north such as Pattadkal, Bijapur, Badami and Aihole, he added.

The idea of conducting such weekend trips was given shape in November by the State Department of Tourism with the objective of encouraging people from the city, especially "overworked" persons from the information technology and biotechnology sectors, to take some time out to relax in such holiday destinations.

Shorter trips

The Department of Tourism also has plans to introduce shorter trips from the city to places of natural beauty.

It is looking at forested areas and sites on small hills such as Sivaganga, Savandurga and Muthyalamadugu also known as Pearl Valley. Tourists visiting these sites will be charged a small fee which will be used for maintenance and security purposes.

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