Leela Group Proposes Rs 600-cr Investment

Kochi, January 19: | Updated: Jan 20 2003, 05:30am hrs
The Leela group is to make a Rs 600-crore investment in Kerala, according to Hotel Leelaventure vice-chairman and managing director Vivek Nair.

Mr Nair, who was here to participate in the Global Investor Meet (GIM), told The Financial Express that the group would invest Rs 500 crore in building an airport in Kannur in north Kerala. Another Rs 100-crore would be invested in developing the Bekal beach resort in the Malabar region.

He said an MoU was signed with the tourism department for this.

The airport, being planned in Kannur, would be an international one. A project report done had put the investment at Rs 500 crore which Mr Nair said the company would want to bring down.

Presently, the international airport was at Kozhikode and one at Kannur would help cater to the needs of Mangalore, Mercara Kasargod and Kannur districts, he said. Also, the group was planning to develop the Bekal front into a beach resort at an investment of Rs 100 crore. The beach resort was just an hour and a half drive from the proposed airport.

The government would provide the land which would form its equity in the project and the Leela group would form a consortium of NRIs and other businessmen to invest in the project.

He said the beach resort would be built on a 55-acre plot and would have 100 guest rooms. Already the group had some property in the vicinity valued at Rs 1,200 crore. The resort was aimed at the upmarket tourists. Unlike backwater tourism, this would be aimed at least a week-long stay or more as being done in Goa which was a viable venture.