Be it the ubiquitous ‘I love NY (New York)’ T-shirts that most people coming back from the United States bring, or the fridge magnets that come in the shape of famous landmarks, popular tourist destinations have takeaways that visitors would never miss. But what about Bengaluru?
Apart from having tags such as ‘IT capital’ and ‘garden city’, Bengaluru has done little to sell itself as a potential tourist destination. The Tourism Department is now stepping in to change all that.
A tourism council is in the pipeline exclusively to create opportunities for tourism within the city. The ministry aims to elevate ‘brand Bengaluru’ by roping in historians, architects, urban planners and legal experts.
Priyank Kharge, Minister for IT, BT and Tourism, told The Hindu that the intention is to make Bengaluru a tourist destination by itself. Pointing to the massive footfall at Kempegowda International Airport (a whopping 18.97 million in 2015-16), he said, “We are looking at how we can make at least 10 per cent of these people spend at least one day in the city.”
Headed by the Minister, the council will be looking at ways to “celebrate the city” and create activity hubs and circuits of specific interests. For example, a ‘science circuit’ would be a tour of the major science establishments in the city such as the Indian Institute of Science, National Aerospace Laboratories, and the Raman Research Institute. A ‘heritage circuit’ or a ‘colonial circuit’ are also in the offing, apart from merchandise representing the city.
“The idea is to look at ways to help visitors explore and experience the city. Bengaluru is on the global map. It is one of the oldest cosmopolitan cities in the country. But if you look at other cities such as London and Paris, they have their own value. People don’t know how to spend the day in Bengaluru,” the Minister said.
Credits The Hindu