The caravan tourism sector in India’s coastal districts remains stagnant, despite a year-long effort by the state government to attract stakeholders. The initiative, aimed at enhancing the tourism experience along the coast, has yet to see any significant participation from industry players.
The state government aimed to make coastal tourism more attractive by introducing caravan tourism. According to a report by Times of India, the proposal is still in its budding stage. The idea was to promote family-oriented tours, offering basic facilities for stay and travel, including bedrooms and kitchens. Caravans could be used to reach tourist circuits or destinations where adequate hotel accommodations may not be available.
While the government’s proposal was met with initial interest, it has failed to translate into action. Industry stakeholders argue that the lack of adequate infrastructure and facilities has been a deterrent.
They believe that the initiative would find many takers if the state government provided the necessary facilities and infrastructure. They argue that the launch of caravan tourism, especially in coastal areas, would significantly benefit the tourism industry.
Lack of Applications
According to officials from the Dakshina Kannada Tourism Department, the call for applications to kickstart caravan tourism has been met with a lukewarm response. Only a handful of queries have been received, with no concrete steps taken to launch the service.
Deputy Director Manikya told Times of India that they had invited applications for caravan tourism a year ago. “However, except for two to three queries, not much has happened ever since then. We are again publicizing about caravan tourism,” said Manikya.
In addition to caravan vehicles, the government had also proposed the idea of caravan parks—designated areas offering essential utilities like electricity and sanitation facilities. These parks were intended to adhere to both international and Indian environmental standards. However, this aspect of the proposal has also failed to attract stakeholders.
No Positive Response
According to tourism stakeholders, even the caravan park project received no positive response. “Even this project received no positive response from anyone,” said an anonymous tourism stakeholder.
Industry experts suggest that caravan parks could be ideally located near beaches, particularly in areas that already have some level of infrastructure and security. They believe that such locations would make the caravan experience more appealing to potential tourists.
DC Mullai Muhilan MP stated that the caravan tourism idea would be proposed again and taken up after the launch of the Blue Flag beach project in Tannirbavi, which is likely to be completed in two months.
While the caravan tourism initiative struggles to take off in the coastal districts, tourism activities in other states like Kerala are proceeding smoothly. The government has implemented effective containment measures against issues like the Nipah virus, ensuring that tourism remains a safe and attractive option.