In a bid to revive the tourism sector badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Karnataka government on Wednesday, June 17, launched Caravan tourism, an initiative under which tourists can book caravans to important tourist destinations.
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa launched the Caravan buses in Bengaluru on Wednesday and said that the government is committed to promote and revive the tourism sector.
The CM said that the tourism industry contributes to nearly 14 per cent of the state's GDP.
"The Covid-19 outbreak has dented the tourism industry — the sector has suffered an estimated loss of around Rs 15,000 crore. We are now taking steps to revive it. The government has also proposed redeveloping 20 important tourist spots in the state," he was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
The fully-equipped vehicles will not only take the tourists to places but also has seats that convert into beds, allowing four people to sleep in one car. Each vehicle comes with a shower, a modern toilet, a smart television and a music system. In addition, they also have a kitchenette that includes a refrigerator, freezer and microwave.
With 1,400-watt solar panels on its roof, the caravans are fully solar-powered and use solar energy for heating and cooling. Meanwhile, the toilet is designed to incinerate human waste and disposes only bio ash to reduce the use of water and other resources to decompose the waste.
The service is being provided by Campervan Camps, a startup. People can book the service through their website. The government, meanwhile, provides parking facilities at various tourist spots and Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation Ltd (KSTDC) hotels.
In the first phase, the state will allow Caravan tourism in Hampi, Gokarna, Badami, Kudremukh, Sakaleshpura, Beluru, Halebidu, Sakrebailu, and Kodagu (Coorg).
"Under the start-up project, the Caravan buses will promote independent tourism, besides ensuring physical distancing and personal hygiene for the tourists," CM Yediyurappa told reporters.