The Karnataka government Wednesday launched Caravan tourism, an initiative under which tourists can book a fully-equipped vehicle that will take them places, and also serve as bed for the night.
The initiative has been started by the tourism department to revive the sector badly hit by Covid-19.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa launched the Caravan buses in Bengaluru Wednesday.
The service is being provided by a start-up called Campervan Camps. People can visit their website to book services, available in various packages. The government, on its part, is providing parking facilities at various tourist spots and Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation Ltd (KSTDC) hotels.
According to the state government, the Caravan service will boost the tourism sector, and also aid its start-up development programme.
Each caravan has seats that convert into beds, allowing four people to sleep in one car. The vehicles are equipped with a shower, a modern toilet, a smart television and a music system. They also have a kitchenette that includes a refrigerator, freezer and microwave.
The caravan bus has 1,400-watt solar panels on its roof and is fully solar-powered. It uses solar energy for heating and cooling. The toilet is designed to incinerate human waste and disposes only bio ash, thus reducing the use of water and other resources to decompose the waste.
In the first phase, the state will allow Caravan tourism in Hampi, Gokarna, Badami, Kudremukh, Sakaleshpura, Beluru, Halebidu, Sakrebailu, and Kodagu (Coorg).
Speaking to reporters, Yediyurappa said, “Under the start-up project, the Caravan buses will promote independent tourism, besides ensuring physical distancing and personal hygiene for the tourists.”
Yediyurappa said the tourism industry contributes to nearly 14 per cent of the state’s Gross State Domestic Produce (GSDP). “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 added.