Taj, Oberoi Groups May Back TRKL's Expansion Plans

Thiruvananthapuram, May 26: | Updated: May 27 2003, 05:30am hrs
Taj and Oberoi groups have been roped in to put equity into the expansion plans of Tourism Resorts Kerala Limited (TRKL), according to TRKL chairperson Padmaja Venugopal.

TRKL has decided to go ahead with its plans for the Bolghatty Marina, airport hotel in Nedumbassery with the Muthoot Group, night golf course and Rs 25-crore Dream City project, she said.

Already Taj and Oberoi groups are associated with KTDC (Kerala Tourism Development Corporation) through joint ventures Taj Kerala Hotel and Resorts Limited (TKHRL) and Oberoi Kerala Hotel and Resorts Limited (OKHRL). TRKL is a subsidiary of KTDC. Since KTDC's resources are spread thin on its Tea County resort in Munnar and Mascot hotel expansion in Thiruvananthapuram, TRKL will have to lean heavily on private players to get its own plans going, Ms Padmaja Venugopal who heads both KTDC and TRKL told a press conference.

Artificial marina in Kochi is envisaged to boost business in KTDC-owned Bolghatty Palace hotel. This is a project generated from last year's Kerala Tourism Mart (KTM).

Five-star hotel at Nedumbassery airport, with a flight-kitchen facility, is planned with the help of Muthoot group. Muthoot group, which recently tied up with TATA AIG as insurance retailers, is already involved in hoteliering. Five acres of land have been identified for this.

An 18-hole night golf course in Kochi, a Global Investor Meet (GIM) project, will also be taken up soon, Ms Padmaja Venugopal said. This is to give value-addition to the growing overseas tourist interest in Kerala. TRKL will also involve Taj and Oberoi groups in the Rs 25-crore Dream City project in Kozhikode. A nature park on 250 acres of land adjacent to the Canolly Canal will have two parts - a conservation component involving creation of a wetland ecosystem and a recreation component involving creation of facilities like amusement park, culture park and food village. The reason, TRKL and its parent KTDC have to rely on private players is the Kerala tourism ministry's total reluctance to be supportive in funds, KTDC chairperson said.