Karnataka Govt Plans Tourism Infra Development Worth RS 3,000 Crore

14 projects including tourism complexes, convention centres and theme parks to be established under PPP model

At the Advantage Karnataka Global Investors Meet organised by the Government of Karnataka (GoK) in Bengaluru on June 3-4, 2010, tourism infrastructure received a big boost with the state government announcing 14 projects to be developed across various parts of the state under the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model. The projects that have been planned include tourism complexes, hospitality districts, convention centres, theme parks and urban entertainment centres. The total investment of all the projects is estimated to be Rs 3,000 crore.

Among the 14 projects, nine projects are for development of tourism complexes. The state government has already identified land for the same. According to the plan, the tourism complexes will consist of hotels, resorts and art and craft centres. Wellness tourism facilities will be added depending on the demand of the location. Sites have been identified in Hampi (20 acres), Chitradurga (8 acres), Bijapur (6 acres), Sagar (72 acres), Pattadakkal (24 acres), Hosanagara (10 acres), Badami (1.5 acres), Tirthahalli (25 acres) and Sakleshpur (25 acres). “The projects have individually seen interest generated from several private entrepreneurs. However, the final private partners of each of the projects will be chosen by the bidding process,” informed Vinay Luthra, Managing Director, Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC).

Plans are also in progress for development of two international convention centres in the state, one each in Devanahalli and Mysore. The contract to develop an international convention centre with a capacity to accommodate 6,000 people along with a five-star hotel at Devanahalli has already been awarded to Hyderabad based Soma Enterprise Ltd. The estimated project cost is about Rs 1,050 crore and the facility is expected to be operational within the next three years. The state has also allocated about 80 acres for the international convention centre in Mysore, located near the Mysore Palace. The bidding process for the same will be opened shortly.

“Realising the huge demand for theme parks internationally, the government plans to build similar facilities of global standards in the state,” stated Luthra. An urban entertainment centre spread across 70 acres is being planned in Mysore and the project master plan is currently underway. In order to attract international tourists, an 18-hole golf course and resort property is planned for development in Tannirbavi at Mangalore. Tenders have already been invited for the 135 acre project and the winning bid will be decided by August 2010. The government is also laying emphasis on growth of Wellness Tourism in the state and has identified land for the development of a Wellness Tourism complex at Kabini spread over 200 acres. It will develop the master plan for the project over the next few months. “While all the projects have already been announced, we will launch tenders to select private partners for the undecided projects from this month onwards, introducing two to three projects per two months,” added Luthra.