BENGALURU: For the first time since its formation, the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) is now working on upgrading its properties to get a star rating from the Ministry of Tourism.
To start with, the KSTDC has chosen three properties, which it terms as its prime properties, for the exercise-Hotel Mayura River View, Srirangapatna, Hotel Mayura Valley View, Madikeri, and Hotel Mayura Sudarshan, Ooty. They are trying to obtain a star rating on the lines of the India Tourism Development Corporation, as two of its properties, Lalit Mahal Palace Hotel in Mysuru and Ashoka Hotel in Delhi, got five-star ratings.
As a first step, the department is moving towards getting a three-star rating in the first phase, which will gradually be upgraded to a four-star rating, KSTDC Managing Director Kumar Pushar told TNSE. He said that people rate these properties, but a rating from the ministry will help give the property more credibility in the eyes of customers. “It is not a compulsory exercise, but a voluntary one, which we have decided to take up,” he said.
From the time since it was incorporated in 1971, the KSTDC-run hotels have no ratings, even though they are managed by the state department. Many hotels are rated by various digital platforms like Trip Advisor, Google, Make My Trip and Bookings.com. Here, people rate the hotels based on their experiences. There is also another rating platform from the Department of Tourism and Government of Karnataka, where hotels can get their properties rated and seek space on the department’s website. However, this is not compulsory and it has been discontinued.
A senior KSTDC official said that though the department and government called the chosen properties as prime properties, they were still listed as budget accommodation. The ministry rating will improve this. These three properties were chosen because they require less work for an upgrade. The room pricing, however, will not change much as the rates of KSTDC hotels are based on customer demand and season.
There are 140 criteria, of which 120 are mandatory while obtaining a three-star hotel rating, including special rooms and facilities in the hotels for physically challenged people, a 24-hour restaurant and kitchen, a 24-hour reception and room service, a proper changing and refreshment room for employees among others.
Pushkar said that though most of the criteria set up by the ministry have been adhered to, more are yet to fulfilled. “The KSTDC will complete the conditions and submit the applications to the ministry by December, after which the ministry will send a team to inspect the properties and give the ratings,” he said.