Bengaluru, 7 March 2018: Karnataka – land of diverse landscapes and experiences – offers every tourist a unique holiday. Today the entire state is known for its tourist attractions — ancient temples and monuments, forests teeming with flora and fauna, beaches, hill stations, divine destinations, and lots more. Domestic tourists visiting Karnataka are steadily increasing every year, and more foreign tourists are making Bengaluru their entry point to the country.

The Department of Tourism, Govt. of Karnataka has been promoting the state as a tourist destination, both nationally and globally, with innovative schemes.

2017 was declared “Year of the Wild”, and was aggressively marketed across the tourism industry, in trade fairs, marketing communications, outdoor advertising. It celebrated Karnataka’s “wild” side and aimed at preserving the environment while engaging with the local economy. Designed for tourists who not only want to explore the nature and its wild best, but also enjoy adventure and activities.

The state boasts over 27 wildlife sanctuaries / national parks. The department’s objective in declaring 2017 as the “Year of the Wild” was not limited to wildlife, it also celebrated the many diverse terrains and landscapes – mountains, beaches, fertile plains, among others.  In other words: the perfect place for adventure sports and other outdoor activities. Such as sky diving, motorcycling, eco treks, wildlife watching, and lots more.

Shri.Priyank Kharge, Hon’ble Minister for IT, BT, & Tourism, Government of Karnataka, said, “We wanted to celebrate Karnataka’s wild side, and its host of activities – on land, water and in the sky. Karnataka’s jagged coastline, the Western Ghats with its majestic peaks, expansive water bodies and the many rivers that criss-cross the state make it the perfect place for a holiday. The themes we select reflect that ethos. “Year of the Wild” program looked at inclusive development of tourism sector and all the people involved.”

The ‘Year of the Wild’ theme also saw the state Tourism department participating in national and international tourism fairs and festivals. The department participated in international tourism marts in cities such as Berlin, Madrid, Dubai, Cannes, Tokyo, Paris, London, and more, to increase the tourists footfalls. The department also participated in events across India, in Chennai, Pune, Kolkata, and other cities, and saw domestic tourists increase by 38% compared to 2016.

The Year of the Wild Campaign was also promoted in airports in India — Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad, New Delhi — enticing tourists to visit and experience the state’s unique natural environment.

The tourism department also promoted its Jungle Lodges & Resorts, and KSTDC properties including the Golden Chariot. “This was done to increase inbound tourism — both domestic and foreign — and to highlight the diverse range of destinations available in the state,” said Shri. Anil Kumar, IAS, Secretary to Govt, Tourism Dept.

During 2017, Jungle Lodges & Resorts (JLR), a pioneer of eco tourism in the country with the largest chain of resorts, also expanded their portfolio.Anejhari Butterfly Camp, Seethanadi Nature Camp, Bhagawathi Nature Camp and Sakrebyle Elephant Camp, were some of the new destinations.

Additionally, the tourism department teamed up with State Forest Department to introduce new eco trails and forest treks in Skandagiri, Savanadurga, Makalidurga, Siddarabetta, Bidarakatte, Pushpagiri, Talacauvery, Makutta, and Srimangala. Specially trained guides and forest officers led the walks, and gave travelers a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

There has been a positive response to the “Year of the Wild” campaign. The occupancy has gone up across most properties. The overall bed nights of all the properties of JLR has increased by 9.6% as compared to the period 2016-17. There has been a tremendous response for the newly started Jungle Camps and Trails aimed at the budget traveler. Here, the occupancy has gone up to 98%. Overall, the revenues of JLR have increased by 5%.

Due to improved publicity campaign through print and digital Media, KSTDC also gained significantly. The overall income from Hotels Division went up by 18.97% in the first three quarters of 2017-18, as compared to the same period in 2016-17. Similarly, occupancy percentage went up by 20.44%, up to 43.7% occupancy in 2017-18.

With the overwhelming success of the “Year of the Wild” positioning, the Tourism Department is kick-starting 2018 with a new theme “Script Your Adventure”.

Department of Tourism will be using long-term sustainable methods and practices to give travelers a special taste of Karnataka. A journey that will take one through World Heritage Sites, National Parks & Wildlife Sanctuaries, Hill Stations, Waterfalls, Beaches and a whole lot more. All these will help the traveller to script their own unforgettable experience in Karnataka. Truly, One State, Many Worlds.