Caravan tourism which is one of the most sought after modes of tourism in countries like Australia, United States of America and United Arab Emirates is fast catching up in India with states like Kerala and Maharashtra which offer policies to be exploited. in the luxury services sector.
Industry experts say that over the next five years, tour operators and luxury hotels in Kerala and Goa will need more than 100 ‘motorhomes’ to meet demand.
“We have designed five caravans according to the requirements of our customers over the past four years. In the next 10 months, we are expected to deliver 12 of these RVs to our customers in Kerala. We are getting several requests from luxury hotels in Goa for caravans,” said Jagadish Hiremath, Managing Director of Able Design, the only caravan manufacturing company in North Karnataka.
The company has also designed special purpose vehicles for DRDO, ISRO and the healthcare industry. Some of their ambulances and modified vehicles are deployed at the Chinese border.
Hiremath says caravan tourism is an untapped sector so far in India and has huge potential for growth.
“These vehicles can be solutions to improve tourist activities where the establishment of permanent infrastructure is not possible. This can open up unlimited possibilities to improve tourism,” he said.
Industry experts say that states like Kerala, Goa and Maharashtra have realized the potential of the sector and developed the necessary policies.
Kerala has already decided to set up 100 caravan parks in tourist locations where tourists can get electricity, drainage and sewage connections at nominal charges.
“Tiger” Ramesh Govindan, MD of LuxeCamper, said Karnataka is losing in the race because the state government is not making the necessary decisions.
“While the government of Kerala issued a government ordinance on caravan parks and cleared the operation of my motorhome in just 45 days, the Karnataka tourism department is on my record for recognizing our company as as a caravan tour operator for the past three years. The government has no vision when it comes to caravan tourism,” he said, adding that he was planning to move his base to Kerala on next month.
He said the union government should step in to ensure a uniform road tax for caravans across India or introduce a single tariff/single permit for approved caravans. He said caravan tourism can generate jobs in rural areas.
Hardeep Kaur, a former manager of a star hotel, told DH that many foreign guests visiting Goa used to request caravan services to visit Dandeli, Badami, Aihole, Hampi and other destinations in Karnataka as these places lack “good accommodation”.
“Although our hotel management were interested in buying caravans, we had to abandon the idea at the last minute as there were no proper caravan facilities at these locations,” he said. -he declares.
The director of the tourism department, T Venkatesh, could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.