“ KOASTAL KARNATAKA” Destination Orientation Trip by KTF

In connection with familiarizing and promoting the Coastal Karnataka belt, a destination Orientation Tour was conducted by Karnataka Travel Forum (KTF) in Bangalore from 25th to 28th Sep 2022). The event was supported by the Department of Tourism, Govt of Karnataka, and is comprised of 18 noted Tour Operators and 2 travel media participants. Two KTF officials Mr. Ravidran Vice President of KTF, and Ms. RamyaRavindra, the manager of KTF led the trip.

The Destination Orientation Tour started with a visit to Sai Vishram Resorts, a beachside resort 4 km away from Byndoor near Udupi.  The resort nestles among an unpruned garden with numerous trees and bushes right at the beachside. The group was received by Mr. Raghavendra.  After a sumptuous breakfast, the group set out on their journey for Karwar.

The island named Kurumad Island is spotted amidst the Arabian Sea. Of its shape look like a tortoise, the green hill-like Island is called Kurumad Island by local folk. A 03 hours journey took the KTF group to the banks of the River Kali where it gets copulated with the Arabian Sea. Another 20-minute-long journey by a ferry boat that tossed over the turbulent waters of the river mouth took the group to the only private island in India

The island is a tall hill surrounded by sea all around with a 15-roomed beautiful CINTACOR ISLAND RESORT.  The group members were transported together by a buggy and a gypsy onto the crown of the island where the reception and the restaurant are situated along with a beautiful swimming pool overlooking the Arabian Sea. One can spot many of the Islands from the resort. The rooms are nestled among the fabulous backdrop of wild trees. Every room offers a unique “room with a view” experience. The restaurant offers a plethora of local and North Indian cuisine.

Water sports activities stole the evening. The red sky afar the horizon with a blue swimming pool and White-chested Grey seagulls sway their wings as if exhibiting their skills before the guests are memorable views. The morning trek through the hills is an experience by itself with breathtaking viewpoints and Subash, the accompanied naturalist made it educative with his knowledge and passion. After breakfast, the group is ferried back to the mainland to catch the bus for the next destination Dandeli.

It was a three hours long journey through the thick wilderness of Forests, rich shadows, and meadows of tall rising trees that brought the group to Dandeli Kali Adventure Camp, run by the Karnataka State-owned group of Jungle Lodges and Resorts. The Dandeli Kali Adventure Camp was situated right on the banks of River Kali among the high towering trees. The rooms were arranged in stand-alone Huts. The group’s arrival was awaited by the local school students assembled there to celebrate the 27th of September, World Tourism Day. As their visit’s memorial the KTF  Destination Orientation Tour group has planted many trees in the surroundings of the resort. The team led by Mr. Ravi led the plantation of trees as their mission to protect nature. While addressing the group, he revealed his love for nature and social commitment. A special Campfire was followed by a grand dinner with an array of local Kannada cuisine.

The morning mist has given way to the heat of the group members’ enthusiasm to visit the nearby “Hornbill Sanctuary”. The sighting of Hornbills is the rarest view in any forest. But in Dandeli Forests the grey hornbills were seen in abundance like the usual sighting of crows everywhere. , Five Out of the Nine prominent Indian varieties of Hornbills are there in the sanctuary. Everyone was busy spotting and “shooting” white-breasted Grey Hornbills with their brooding eyes and cameras. The highly knowledgeable naturalist Mr. Pramod Naik, a Post Graduate in Zoology led the visits by showering his extensive knowledge about the flora and fauna of the destination.

The next goal of the group was to experience “White-water Rafting”, in the locale of Dandeli, the only spot in South India to facilitate unique White-water Rafting. Both the calm and fury moods of River Kali were experienced and accomplished by White-water Rafting arranged by KTF as a part of the Destination Orientation Tour. A well-trained team handled the rafting experience with full safety measures that showcased another Unique Selling Product before the Tour operators. White water rafting is yet to be promoted with vigorous marketing among international and national travelers. The rafting ended into yet another resort on the banks of River Kali, named “Hornbill Resort”, again nestled among innumerable tall trees.

The lunch was at a nature resort named “Jungle County” a haven in a remote plantation. The group members were enthralled by the presentation of Mr. Sachin Kamat, the owner of the resort with excellent hospitality. There was yet another array of local Karnataka Cuisine to covet the palates of the group members. The resort with its rustic feel is primarily meant for serious nature lovers and was well-appreciated by the group members. Then we proceeded to Bangalore, which was a night drive, and visited The Fern, a Hubli-based Hotel for dinner.

Mr. Ravi as a seasoned veteran tour operator that spans multiple decades shares his industry expertise with his fellow travelers. Mr. Ravi exclaims his concerns over the relatively minimal influx of international travelers to India by comparing his recent visits to South Africa. Ravi says “the highest airfare is the biggest hurdle now. Plus, insecure feelings still persist among western travelers about health. The newly found fears being the social and health wise stigma as a result of Covid pandemic”. Still, he hopes that a new dawn of post covid Tourism is imminent.

A team member Sapna, the Bangalore-based tour operator who is the owner of Eastern Travel Needz is enthralled by her Kostal Karnataka Destination Orientation Tour. Swapna says “as my very name suggests it’s a dream for me to be on the island as if I am in a trance whether I am in the wilderness or in the beach resort. The togetherness of the greenery around and the proximity of blue-waters gives me an impression of a once-in-a-lifetime experience”

The Group members were accompanied by a Holland-based Vlogger Ms. Ivana Perkovic. The members of the group are reputed Tour Operators and Travel Agents based in Bangalore. The group members were Mr. Ramesh from Ramesh Tours, Ms. Shree Prada from Globus Family of Brands, Mr. Krishna Menon Nirva Tour and Travel, E T Suresh from Alliance Travels, Ms. Suman Puri from Just Travel, Ms. Swetha B P from G R Holidays INC, Mr. Arvind from Crimsom Holidays, Mr. Ajay Kumar Singh from “ WAH! ”, Mr. Dinesh Bez from Three Friends Travels International, Mr. S H Ravindra from Inchara Holidays, Mr. Sudhir K R from Viz Tour, Mr. Krishna Prasad from Teem Travel World Pvt.Ltd, Ms. Vinutha Kiran from Travel Lounge Inc, Ms. Liza Shajan from MapNgo, Ms. Geetha Menon from Krsnaa Vacations,  Ms. Deepthi K Nambiar from Leisure Infinite Tours and Events, Ms. Sapna from Eastern Travel Needz , Ms. Ranjeetha Raj from Yaana.and Mr. Ajai Kumar K S (TourismIndia).

Karnataka Tourism forum founded in 2001 has a mission to bring light to the untapped potential tourism attractions in Karnataka and Mr. Sanjar Imam as the president leads all dynamic endeavours  of KTF.

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