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Mysore fleecing tourists? What's the thought behind steep hikes?

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Tourism

If the reports are to be believed, entry and usage fees at some popular tourist spots in and around Mysore have been increase. The hikes seem STEEP. Sample these (source: Business Standard, Feb 22):

  • Ranganathittu Boat Ride: Earlier, Rs 100, now Rs 1000
  • Car Parking Fee at Gopalaswamy Hills: Now, Rs 1000. Parking for 2-wheelers, Rs 200!
  • Bandipur Entry: From Rs 75, to now Rs 200
  • Some other, bit 'reasonable' hikes: Ranganathittu Entry: From Rs 25, to Rs 50. Zoo, old Rs 30, now Rs 40/

Don't know when exactly these hikes were implemented, but what on earth would explain some steep hikes mentioned above? Are these an attempt to make some places a bit "exclusive", or is Mysore Tourism trying to work on its "balance sheet"?

If its an attempt to run and act like a regular business, then we need to see balance sheets and performance reports from Mysore Tourism first. And even after that, if the Tourism department wants to run like an efficient business, it is better off going the outsourcing route than making us pay to cover for their inefficiencies.

One more point, about "foreign tourists"

While at the subject, I don't understand this one other thing about our Tourism departments. Why the hell would you charge astronomically high fees to 'foreign' tourists? Why would you not, instead, attract more and more foreign tourists by spreading the message as a affordably priced destination? Sample some new rates:

  • Bandipur entry: Domestic tourist: Rs 200, foreign tourist: Rs 1000 !
  • Ranganathittu entry: Domestic tourist Rs 50, foreign tourist: Rs 300 !

It is not just Mysore though. To the foreign tourists, "we want to fleece you" is what the rate tables at most tourist spots in India scream. The logic for this "discrimination" is lost on me. The international (lets use a better word, 'foreign' sounds so un-welcome) tourists are going to spend more by staying, wining, dining and traveling in 'more pricey' ways. Those rate cards showing different Rupee and 'dollar' prices to international tourists do no good to our image.

Comments

kumarvjn's picture

Foreign Tourists are to be treated at par with Indians

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The practice of charging more for foreign tourists has to be discontinued.  They are visiting our country as tourists and we should welcome them.

 

 

ashok_n's picture

Foreign Tourists - How do they distinguish?

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@Silkboard, Thanks for bringing this up.

One more thing I have always wondered is how do they distinguish tourists as foreign? Colour of the skin? All south-asians can easily pass off as Indians. And PIOs from anywhere can also pass off as Indians (though they are technically foreigners). So only overtly white or black people are charged more?

Might as well change the rules to "Entry fees based on color of your skin". Racism rules our country ?

murali772's picture

aditi fleece-o bhava

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is Mysore Tourism trying to work on its "balance sheet"?

Perhaps so. This balance-sheet approach is seen elsewhere too  - check this

 

@ Ashok  -  A few years back, at the entrance to the Taj (Agra), I was approached by the leader of a lower middle-class (from appearance) group of tourists to confirm if what the officials at the entry ticketing point were saying about their having to pay a hefty Rs 500/- or so per head (I don't recall the exact figure; but it was far higher than what I was charged) was true. He was speaking broken English, and, though they appeared to be from South India, I couldn't quite place them from the language they were speaking among themselves. It was when I talked to the officials that I realised that the group was from Srilanka, and the officials showed me the board very clearly indicating the charges payable. In the event, many from the group opted out of going in, since, apparently, they had not budgeted for the high charge.

The language gave them away. If the leader had a better command of English (or any Indian language), perhaps the ticketing officials wouldn't have differentiated them for our own country-folk.

More than the loss to the Srilankans, I would consider it a loss to us, as a country, of their goodwill. A case of "aditi fleece-o bhava".
 

Muralidhar Rao
silkboard's picture

Thanks man

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@ashok, murali, thanks for your comments.

I think nobody is really questioning/heckling the Tourism department. Tourism is a such a big economic stimulator - it needs to get more attention from the 'aware' citizens like us.

On 'foreign' tourists, its definitely unfair. Just because they (and mind you, only the westerners, developed world tourists actually) can afford to pay more, why should we charge more? Anyway.

How do you get about digging into Karnataka tourism deprtment's performance? Despite being perhaps the most beautiful state in country (Ghats, Beaches, History) save for some Himalayan states, we are not in top 3 in either domestic or international tourist arrivals. In even if we were in top-3, the volumes can and need to be much higher, the benchmarks are too low.

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