Recently, I visited Abbey Falls in Coorg and was taken aback by the shabbiness of the beautiful destination. Right at the entrance to the falls, you find shops selling all kinds of food in packets and plastic is strewn all over the place.
Now, if the Karnataka State Tourism Development Council (KSTDC) wants to attract more tourists, how can it do so while not affecting the livelihood of such local shopkeepers? The problem with the tourism ministry is it speaks about last mile connectivity, building toilets, Yatra Nivas and other infrastructure, but this alone cannot attract more tourists.
And the problem with Karnataka tourism is that the state government focuses only on promoting a destination without developing it. You cannot blame anybody for this lack of sustainable development of a tourism destination because there has been no road map to develop it so far.
The most well maintained tourist places in the country are those run by the Archeological Survey of India and this needs to change. Why would anyone spend on a holiday to visit a shabby place? We need a strategic development plan as promotions alone cannot attract tourists. They can only be a part of sustainable tourism, which requires the involvement of locals, NGOs and private players....