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Investments up to Rs. 500 crore is guaranteed: Joint Commissioner of Tourism Sriramaiah
Malnad and coastal Karnataka region are likely to attract investors
Attraction: Pattadakal is an important place to boost heritage tourism, and big players in the hospitality industry are focussing on places which foreign tourists frequently visit.
MYSORE: Despite the global economic slowdown, about 18 international and 23 domestic players in the hospitality industry are still keen to pump in investments of over Rs. 1,000 crore in the State this financial year. And, the State Government is making all efforts to clear hurdles in providing them suitable land to kick-start their tourism development projects.
In February, top executives of 93 companies came to Bangalore for formal discussions on developing hotels, resorts, and luxury spas in the State.
The Tourism Department had invited Accor, European leader and one of the world’s largest group of hotels and services; Domino Group of Hotels, Milan; InterContinental Hotels Group, Europe; Kempinski Hotels and Resorts, which have hotels in Europe, South America, Africa and Asia; Residor Group of Hotels, Brussels, Belgium; and Best Western International of the U.S., to take up multi-crore hospitality projects in the State.
Even Indian hotel groups — Tatas, Oberoi, Bharat Hotels and Asian Hotels — had been invited to the meeting, which according to department officials was “fruitful”.
Following that, the Department of Tourism began identifying viable spots for big hospitality projects, which could in turn support the tourism industry and local community, and bring in economic development in the area.
Though department officials refused to divulge the names of foreign players who have confirmed that they will make huge investments, it is reliably learnt that companies from Dubai, Switzerland and a few from Europe are ready to tap the tourism potential here.Coastal tourism
Malnad and the coastal Karnataka region are likely to draw “unprecedented” investments, considering the feedback department officials have received from the investors. Stretches around Sakleshpur in Hassan district and Karwar have also drawn their attention.
Even places on the heritage tourism route, like Aihole, Pattadakal and Badami, which are frequented by foreign tourists, may attract some investments.
To provide suitable land for the investments, the department had established a special platform for bringing together land owners with clear titles for properties ranging from 0.5 to 30 acres of land, and investors looking for land for sale or lease. It received 225 applications from people owning land over 0.5 acres, properties near the coast, plantations and estates and properties close to major tourist destinations.Provision
However, under the Land Revenue Act, there are restrictions in buying agricultural land for non-agriculture purposes. For this reason, the department plans to approach the Government to make a “one-time provision” under the Act for investors to buy the properties of their choice for the projects.
“The department is estimating the extent of land the investors would require for the projects. Once this is achieved, a booklet with details on the investors; their profile; project details; the extent of land for hospitality projects; and the place where the projects are proposed, will be submitted to the Commissioner of Revenue for one-time clearance of land,” said Joint Commissioner of Tourism K.C. Sriramaiah.Investment
He told The Hindu that a decision on this is expected in the next 20 days and afterwards necessary formalities with the investors would be completed. “We are expecting investments up to Rs. 1,000 crore; however, investments up to Rs. 500 crore is guaranteed based on investors’ feedback,” Mr. Sriramaiah said.Ayurvedic resort
“Somatheeram, a well-known name in beach resorts, has plans to invest about Rs. 150 crore in a heritage ayurvedic beach resort in the State,” he said, adding that investments would be made on hotels, resorts, and luxury spas in places considered “most suitable” for international tourists.
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