#CongregationsIndia: Event Managers Must Come Forward with Ideas, Says Kumar Pushkar, ex-MD, KSTDC

Industry Watch | January 5, 2021 | News

Congregations India Priyank M Kharge Kumar Pushkar Karnataka Tourism Oum Pradutt

In conversation with Oum Pradutt, Founder of Phase 1 Experiences,  at ‘CONGREGATIONS INDIA: Government, Political, Sport & Religious Events Summit’ organised by EVENTFAQS Media on December 24, 2020, Priyank M Kharge, MLA Chittapur and Former Minister for IT/BT, Tourism & Social Welfare Dept, Govt of Karnataka and Kumar Pushkar (IFS), MD Jungle Lodges and Resorts and Ex- MD, Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation, talked about promoting Karnataka with its many marvels as a tourism destination. 

Destination for Experiences

Kharge said, “The nature of tourism has changed over a period of time; people have started demanding experiential tourism. When you say experiential tourism, it could be events, exhibitions, music festivals, conferences, sports tourism - basically anything and everything that could help them enhance their regular run-of-the-mill tourist experience. During our tenure, we succeeded in trying to do that by bringing in local communities and their culture for tourists to experience. We also got environmental tourism and adventure tourism, wherein we came with green passports and had eco-tourism on board and explored 21 new eco-tourism routes. We showcased different parts of Karnataka so as to cater to different sections of people. Sports tourism took a huge thrust during our tenure with Asia’s biggest tennis tournament that had huge PR activity around it, and we packaged everything as an event. All of us believe in making an impact. Having experiential tourism or event-based tourism is going to have a greater social and economic impact for the short term, but if we are consistent enough, it can evolve into Government policy.”

Adding to this, Pushkar said, “Tourism sector is the biggest contributor to employment as well as the economy and tourism cannot be developed by the Government alone. It is a segment where private stakeholders have to come forward as we need their support and we need to spend a lot of effort on tourism marketing and promotion and that can happen through events and media.”

Vision for 2021

“According to the new tourism policy launched on the occasion of World Tourism Day, Karnataka has been positioned as the most preferred tourism destination through events, marketing and media. Next mission is to promote Karnataka on the domestic and global tourism maps. Everywhere, the role of event managers is very important to promote Karnataka through different events and festivals. Event managers need to provide us with various options through virtual and physical events where we can have fruitful interactions and networking sessions and promote our State or destinations,” added Pushkar.

Sharing insights on what the Government can do for the events fraternity in the Tourism sector, Kharge said, “Events are high value tourism attractions and they act as catalysts to change the image of the city and bring good business for everyone through conventions, roadshows, sports-related activities, festivals and more. Unless and until the Government considers events as a part of the Tourism package, it will be difficult for the events fraternity to come together and promote anything. I believe the Government should subsidise the events industry and it will eventually open up hospitality and tourism to stimulate the economy.”

Concluding the session, Pushkar appealed to the events community to come forward with their ideas and partner the Government and work together with it.

Speaking at the summit, Priyank M Kharge, MLA from Chittapur, and Kumar Pushkar, IFS, outlined how Karnataka is setting up experiential tourism in the State

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