The Department of Tourism, set up in 1974, focuses on implementing the Tourism Department’s decisions and undertaking overseas/ domestic promotion and publicity. It has 19 district offices and 8 tourist offices. It aggressively promotes the State, and its sustained marketing promotions and campaigns have finally made the world sit up and take notice of the ‘Many Worlds’ that make up this vibrant state.
There are 3 government undertakings functioning under the Department of Tourism, namely Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC), Jungle Lodges and Resorts (JLR) and Karnataka Exhibition Authority, Mysore.
KSTDC, established in 1971, provides accommodation and conveyance facilities for tourists visiting Karnataka. It also conducts 26 package tours through its fleet of 52 buses equipped with state of the art facilities and owns hotels and guest houses throughout the State –18 properties at unrivalled locations across popular destinations. KSTDC also undertakes infrastructure development projects.
KSTDC also operates The Golden Chariot, South India’s first and only luxury train. Rated by Vanity Fair as “one of the top seven train journeys in the world”, it takes discerning travelers through its 2 packages, “Pride of the South" and "Southern Splendour”.
JLR, established in 1980, promotes eco-tourism, adventure tourism and various wildlife destinations in Karnataka. Working closely with the Forest Department, it runs 16 properties across National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries and the coast, making it India’s largest chain of resorts in wildlife tourism/ eco-tourism. Various outdoor activities such as trekking, camping, safaris, white water rafting, etc. are offered at these resorts.
JLR also provides consultancy services to other state governments in promoting eco-tourism.