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Ecotourism poised to take off

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: With the concept of ecotourism gaining popularity among urban dwellers, the State-owned Jungle Lodges and Resorts (JLR) expects to improve its performance over the last year even as it prepares to set up five more ecotourism facilities across the State.

Executive Director of JLR Hari Kumar Jha told presspersons here on Monday that by the end of March, JLR would have received more than 76,000 tourists, the number that it received during 2006-2007.

“By January this year, we had received over 62,000 tourists, and we are confident of performing better than the last year.”

The JLR has the capacity to host 1.1 lakh guests annually. It has a turnover of Rs. 20 crore with profits of about Rs. 3 crore.

According to JLR Managing Director N.D. Tiwari, JLR facilities are being sought for corporate programmes, resulting in increased occupancy during the weekdays while the weekends have witnessed arrival of leisure travellers.

Mr. Tiwari said that the average occupancy rate for JLR has been 68 per cent.

The JLR will be setting up new facilities at Daroji Bear Sanctuary in Hospet, Malaya Marutha in Chikamagalur, Hogenakkal in Chamarajanagar, Ottinane in Udupi and Jog Falls.

“These new facilities will create an additional 15 to 20 rooms each,” Mr. Jha said.

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