BANGALORE: Jungle Lodges and Resorts Ltd. (JLR) is a leading chain of resorts offering wildlife, eco and adventure tourism in India giving visitors an unique and natural experience.
It was formed in the year 1980 as a private Limited Company but is now fully owned by the Government of Karnataka JLR . P Anur Reddy, Managing Director of JLR speaks to Vyas Sivanand about the USP, focus areas and of the company.
What are the main priority areas of JLR?
JLR was initiated with an objective to promote wildlife destinations in Karnataka and today we have 16 properties. We are the only tourist resort company which offers focussed experience of wilderness in the state and we intend to take it further. The main priority would be to consolidate the existing properties and enhance the experience.
Apart from consolidating, we want to add more value to the resorts. For example, we have naturalists in few resorts, but we want them to go to all our resorts and help us interpret nature better. We also want to better the existing training given to our employees by involving some specialised trainers. Trekking, which exists in few of our resorts in a dormant way is an activity that we want to revive along with few other activities.
We are interacting with the Forest Department for the same.
The tourism policy of 2009-14 has focussed on eco-tourism. How has it helped JLR?
The tourism policy has mandated that no safaris by private vehicles will be allowed and it was implemented this year.
JLR is the only company allowed to do so, further to which we are taking people for safaris from all hotels and resorts.
The only condition is that we have to follow the carrying capacity of the area as fixed by the Forest Department and we are following it strictly.
Another feature in the policy is to ensure that 60-70 per cent of the employees should be locals and we are adhering to it.
Are you a commercial company or is your focus only on giving tourists an experience of nature?
Our USP is to enable the visitor to relate with nature. There are many other resorts but they are commercial; not that we are not, but commercial orientation is not our priority.
Then what is your turnover and profits?
Our turnover in the year 2010-11 was ` 33 crore and in 2011-2012, it may cross ` 40 crore.
We are a profit making unit. In 2009-10, we made a profit of ` 3.6 crore, while in 2010-11 the profit was a little less at ` 1.74 crore owing to renovations at some of our resorts. In 2011-12 we are expecting a profit of ` 5-6 crore.
Do you get grants from the government?
We do get a central grant which goes into infrastructure development. In 2010-11, we got a central grant of ` 8.60 crore and in 2011-12, we got ` 2.03 crore. We also get a certain amount of grant from the state.
What is the ratio between domestic and international tourists in your resorts?
The resorts are high-end and we do get foreign travellers, but domestic tourists are our main traffic. In 2010-11, we got about 85,000 guests out of which about 20,000 were foreigners.