Industry body Assocham on Monday said Karnataka must promote more inclusive tourism policies to attract over 15 crore domestic tourists and about 10 lakh foreign travellers by 2019.
"Domestic tourist visits in Karnataka can grow at a rate of about six per cent considering the recent trends of rise in domestic tourist visits together with improvement seen in physical infrastructure, rise in income and an increasing thrust on tourism promotion by the state government," noted a research paper by Assocham.
The industry body observed that with over 13 per cent year-on-year growth, the state recorded over six lakh foreign tourist visits in 2015.
However, the state should further develop necessary tourist infrastructure and promote several other potential cities, it added.
"With about 12 per cent share in total investments attracted by hotels and tourism industry across India, Karnataka ranked third after Maharashtra (17 per cent) and Gujarat (14.5 per cent)," said the paper conducted by Assocham Economic Research Bureau (AERB).
"Karnataka attracted investments worth over Rs 11,000 crore of the total outstanding investments worth over Rs 93,400 crore attracted by the hotels and tourism industry in India as of June 2016," it said.
The Assocham study suggested that perking up infrastructure, building tourism industry on core and naturally viable resources, better co-ordination amid various government agencies and departments, promoting concepts like tourism circuits through effective marketing plans, programmes and road shows can enhance the potential of domestic tourism sector in the country.
"The state government should look towards promoting tourism circuit concept by grouping together a number of tourist destinations and offer the same as a package, such circuits can be formed through conjunction of sites in order to offer the travellers with a more complete experience," said R. Shivakumar, Chairman of Assocham Karnataka Regional Development Council.
"Given the growth of India's economy, expansion of middle classes and ongoing westernisation of their lifestyles, the relative importance of domestic tourism can only be expected to increase exponentially over the coming decades," Shivakumar added.