KSTDC to lease properties across State to boost tourism
It wants to improve boarding and lodging facilities for tourists
In a bid to improve boarding and lodging facilities for tourists, the Karnataka State Tourism Department Corporation (KSTDC) has decided to hand over 22 of its properties to private players for a 25-year period.
The properties, spread across the State, are not operational presently.
These vacant buildings, erstwhile hotels and wayside facilities, are scattered across 14 districts. The popular Big Banyan Tree in the outskirts of Bangalore, Hotel Mayura Samudra at Gokarna (Uttara Kannada district), wayside facilities at Lakkundi (Gadag), Gattigodi (Haveri), Kudligi (Bellary), Hungunda (Bagalkot), Lokapur and Thannikola (Belgaum), Yathri Nivas at Sirsi and a tourist complex at Shimoga figure among them.
Managing Director of KSTDC, Vinay Luthra, told Deccan Herald that the properties, which were handed to it by the State tourism department, would be privatised under the Repair, Operate, Manage and Transfer (ROMT) scheme. “Apart from an upfront payment of a licence fee, the parties have to pay an annual concessional fee, which will be renewed every five years. The property must be handed back to KSTDC after 25 years,” he said.
A couple of years ago, the Mangalore Refinery and Petroleum Limited was handed over 12 of the properties for the purpose of developing them but the group encountered other financial problems due to the hike in petroleum prices and returned the properties to KSTDC.
“Acute manpower shortage in the Corporation has prevented us from developing the properties. It is also difficult to monitor the properties spread across the State. Hence, the decision to hand them over to professional, private players at the local level, ” informed Luthra.
The move would also be in line with the recent trend of opting for Public Private Partnerships, he added.
The properties range from four to eight rooms, moderately sized. Some are in good shape while a few are in a dilapidated condition.
Tenders in this connection will be called for in a couple of days, the MD said. A few private parties have been evincing keen interest in taking over these spots already, he added.
KSTDC hoped to raise nearly Rs seven crore through this venture. The licence and annual fee charged would be quite nominal. “The properties could emerge as good and affordable lodging and food centres for tourists,” Luthra felt.