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Karnataka Tourism Minister Priyank Kharge today said the state tourism department has registered a 40 per cent increase in sales at jungle lodges and resorts after tying up with RCB, led by Virat Kohli. Karnataka Tourism is one of the sponsors of Royal Challengers Bangalore. The association with RCB, led by Kohli has been a great move to promote Brand Bengaluru and Karnataka as a tourist destination, Kharge told PTI. "We are making a video with RCB players, shooting for which is in progress. Players, including Virat Kohli are seen promoting sports tourism in Karnataka, especially Bengaluru," he said. Kharge said that serious efforts are being made to drive the economy of the state not only with cricket, but also other sports. For the first time the 100,000 U.
S. Dollars 'Bengaluru Open' is being hosted in an attempt to put the city back on tennis world map, Kharge said. The Bengaluru Open would become a feature in the annual calendar for the city and Tourism department will sponsor the event for next three years, the minister said. He said a three-day kayaking festival was held at Kali river in Dandeli recently,in which over 167 kayakers took part from across the country and from countries like New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, the United States, Italy and Nepal. "This increased footfalls considerably in the region," hesaid. Nature walks, rock climbing, marathon and cyclothon,bird watching,heritage trails, and cultural events at the foothills are being planned as part of Nandi Hills Utsav, Kharge said. "The department will tap this festival to showcase the hills as an eco-tourism destination," he said. The department also launched sky diving and other aero sports in Mysuru, Kharge said. "We have also drawn up a plan to make Mysuru an adventure sports hub. Chamundi Hills is set to become a launch pad for paragliding activities," he said. Five adventure sports activities skydiving,parasailing, paragliding, hot air balloon riding, and helicopter riding have been finalised as part of tourism promotion in the district, Kharge said. The department also announced Bengaluru Open 2017 Golf Championship, in association with the Professional Golf Tour of India and Karnataka Golf Association thismonth, he said. "In recent years, Karnataka has emerged as a major powerhouse in golf and the state is determined to offer the best of infrastructure and support to the golfing fraternity. Some of the biggest names in Indian golf would come together for the maiden tournament, he said.
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