THE Tourism Corporation of Gujarat (TCGL), the state tourism organisation of Gujarat, will next week invite bids to run its accommodation so as to scale up service standards.
The tourism body owns 17 properties across the state under the Toran brand name, ranging from budget to three-star accommodation.
Sanjay Kaul, managing director, TCGL, said: “We are looking at inviting private sector investment in infrastructure in a very big way. The tourism corporation is inviting bids from private players to manage our 17 properties in order to improve the quality of service. Private parties have the expertise to run hotels.”
The state tourism department has also identified spare land that it plans to lease out to private entities for the development of hotels on a long-term basis.
Furthermore, TCGL had approached the government of India to fund a major convention centre in Baroda to be constructed in a public-private partnership, revealed Kaul.
Gujarat’s tourism budget was increased to Rs3.8 billion (US$64.5 million) for 2013-2014, up from Rs2.4 billion for 2012-2013.
Last year, the state welcomed 600,000 foreign tourists. Main source markets were France, Italy, Spain, Germany, the UK and the US.
Kaul said: “The major draws for international tourists are the Kutch region and Gir National park.
“For the year 2013-2014, we expect 12 per cent growth in tourist arrivals. But, even though we are looking to attract more international tourists, the domestic market remains our backbone.”