Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tourism activities increase

Tourism activities increase
Times of India By Himanshu Kaushik

The hopes of a increase in the tourism activity in and around Sasan and Dhari area, has not only drawn the attention of the businessman for setting up five luxury hotel but towards Dhari the land prices have almost doubled in the past few months.

Reasons: Towards Sasan, the Hindi film Icon Amitabh Bachchan's visit to Gir Sanctuary has drawn attention of businessmen to tap possible flow of high-end tourists in the Asiatic Lion's abode. Around five luxury hotel projects are on the anvil near the Gir forest.

While towards, Dhari the land prices have almost doubled as the State Government has began the process of setting up an interpretation center on the lines of Devalia in Ambardi area.

Officials said that the prices of the land which were priced between 1.5 to tthree lakh per bigah was now priced at 6-7 lakhs. Sources said that towards the Dhari-Sarasia and Tulsishyam road the prices have suddenly increased. The Government has recently begun the development of the Ambardi interpretation zone which has raised hope of increased tourist activity. Officials said that the number of those visiting Devalia was 1,35,200.

Meanwhile the Amitabh impact can also be seen towards Sasan. The developers are not only from within Gujarat but brand like Tata and Club Mahindra are amongst the few to extend its presence in lion country. Tata group is re-opening 29-room 'Gir Lodge' with newly developed brand 'Gateway'. Tatas have taken a property on lease from Tourism Corporation of Gujarat (TCGL) way back in 1995. However, the hotel with picturesque view of Hiran River and the Vasadoor hills in Sasan is closed since a decade.

"Sasan is already a unique product and now it is powered by iconic brand Amitabh Bachchan. Asiatic Lion Safari, a world class product has been justified with the mega campaign, which would boost high-end tourism in the region. Looking to the fact, decision to renovate the property has been taken. We plan to re-open the hotel before the end of March 2011," said PK Mohankumar, COO The Gateway Hotel.

Club Mahindra has come into lease agreement with the promoters of Wonderland Resort that was commissioned only last year. The pact was inked immediately after the superstar completed shooting inside the forest last month," said a source active in the 3-star resort.

Rajkot based Sanjayraj Group, which is having interest in Real-estate, hospitality and education is also developing a 5-star category resort on 30 acres of land. "We are developing eco-friendly theme based resort at an estimated cost of Rs 30 crore (excluding land). The 100 room property is aimed at attracting high-end domestic as well as foreign tourists," said Indranil Rajguru, chairman of the company.

Another Rajkot based realty company Kotecha Group is in the process to commission a 4-star hotel in December this year. "Construction of 30 room property was kicked start six months back. Now we have decided to speed-up the work to open the hotel in this tourist season only," said Kishor Kotecha, director of the company.

Ahmedabad based realty firm Popular Group is diversifying into hospitality to develop 5-star eco-friendly resort near Sasan on 30 acres of land. Nilay Patel, CEO of the group said that the company is in the process of acquiring land.

Even Gujarat government is also in the process of creating 'Little Africa', an eco-friendly resort in a bid to provide employment to youth of the African-origin Sidi community settled in Saurashtra region. The theme-based resort to be developed on 25 acres of land would be promoted by global giant IBM. The tribal development department of the state government has entered into a tie-up with IBM India for the Rs. 10 crore project (excluding land).

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