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Monday, Oct 21, 2002

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5-star resort coming up at Kovalam

Deeptha Rajkumar

The resort is located about 16 km from Thiruvananthapuram, approximately an hour's flight from Colombo and Male. All three destinations are easily accessible by scheduled flights.

KOCHI, Oct. 20

THE Mumbai-based Katgara group, which manages and runs Travel Corporation of India (TCI), and the Kerala-based Muthoot Pappachan group are constructing a 5-star seaside resort in Kovalam.

The resort is expected to start functioning by October 2003. Confirming this, Mr Adi Katgara, Managing Director, TCI, said that the resort would be ready to receive clients by the said timeframe.

Set on 7.5 acres of land lying between the Arabian Sea and a peaceful lagoon and 3.5 acres on a hillock nearby, the resort will have 105 rooms.

Of these, 65 rooms will be ethnic villas on the hillock, while 40 rooms will be floating cottages (on stilts) on the lagoon. The resort is being set up with a capital outlay of Rs 30 crore. The group has short-listed four established hoteliers, of which one will manage and run the hotel.

``Kerala is India's fastest growing tourist destination. We had bought land in Kovalam about 2-3 years ago, which has been lying idle since then. And given the fact that Kovalam needs a quality hotel, the timing was apt,'' Mr Jehangir Katgara, Director, TCI, told Business Line.

According to Mr Adi Katgara, a revival in the tourism business had prompted the group to set up this venture.

"Kerala has been very aggressive in promoting tourism as an industry.''

Targeted at the hi-end clientele, the group is also looking to see a substantial increase in tourist traffic via development of the `green triangle' i.e., Thiruvananthapuram, Colombo and Male in Maldives.

The resort is located about 16 km from Thiruvananthapuram, which is approximately an hour's flight from Colombo and Male.All three destinations are easily accessible by scheduled flights. With tourist charters operating to Thiruvananthapuram, Colombo and Male, there is plenty of scope to develop this new circuit, Mr Adi Katgara added.

Apart from all the regular facilities that are part and parcel of a 5-star resort, the resort will include a conference arcade, health club and an ayurveda centre with a wide range of therapies.

Guests can also look forward to enjoying a range of indoor games and water sports at the resort.

"We are talking of sports like paragliding, water skiing, sailing and boating.'' On the drawing boards is also a plan to offer coastal sailing by schooner.

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