THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Ponmudi, the famed tourist destination in the capital, will soon get a premium property managed by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC).
“A guest house of the Tourism Department with 24 rooms is almost complete,” KTDC Chairman M Vijayakumar told reporters.
“We will replicate the Chennai model at Ponmudi. A majority of the rooms of the property will be managed by KTDC while the remaining rooms will function as a government guest house.”
At the 90-room KTDC hotel in Chennai, five rooms have been set apart for being used as the guest house of Government of Kerala, he said.
“The Chennai model will be replicated in other properties as well.”
Vijayakumar said the KTDC property in Ponmudi will be transformed into a ‘premium property’ on the lines of the Mascot Hotel in the capital.
“We are aiming at a big transformation of Ponmudi. The entire hilltop area will witness a big change. A police station in the area will be shifted. Currently, there are 14 cabanas at the destination. An additional 15 shelters will be constructed, taking the total number to 29,” he said.
The cable car service having been announced in the state budget, KTDC is also engaged in talks with private operators to start cable car service at the high-range destination, Vijayakumar said.
KTDC will launch a houseboat tourism project in Kumarakom at a cost of Rs 12.5 crore. Similar services will also be launched on Ashtamudi Lake in Kollam. KTDC will partner with various District Tourism Promotion Councils (DTPCs) and the Forest Department to market their boating and trekking packages at an international level. KTDC has also planned construction of an airstrip at Bekal so as to allow small aircraft to land at the destination. A new resort will also be built near the famed Muzhapilangad beach in Kannur.
In the wake of the Supreme Court verdict banning liquor vends and bars on National Highways, 29 beer parlours of KTDC had to be closed down. According to Vijayakumar, KTDC is in the process of identifying alternative locations to re-open the beer parlours. “Since identifying alternative locations is a time-consuming process, we expect it to be completed over the next two to three months,” he said. KTDC managing director Rahul R said an earlier proposal to start a beer parlour in Technopark has been shelved. Instead, a sports bar will be set up by KTDC on the sprawling IT campus.