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Kerala to woo tourists with serviced villas

Last updated on: May 18, 2010 11:05 IST

Kerala to woo tourists with serviced villas

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Usha Ram Manohar in Kochi

Exploring new options to meet the growing demand for room space in God's Own Country, the Kerala tourism department has launched a new initiative - serviced villas.

The serviced villas will be independent, furnished homes preferably built in Kerala architecture style. The villas will have a minimum of one room and maximum of six rooms or 12 beds for guests besides a well equipped kitchen with a cook well versed in Kerala cuisine and a qualified person who can speak English.

"The new scheme will increase accommodation options in the state and is aimed at providing comfortable stay facilities of standardised high quality to visitors and supplement accommodation availability," tourism director M Sivasankar said.

"The aim is to provide affordable accommodation at various destinations. Apart from providing a clean and affordable place of stay for tourists, villas will offer a never before opportunity to experience authentic Kerala at its best," he said.

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Image: A houseboat in Kerala.
Photographs: Courtesy, keralatourism.org
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Enquiries have poured in for the scheme from Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Pathnamthitta, Wayanad and Idukki. This scheme is different from homestays as the property owner need not stay in the house.

"In homestays, the main regulation is that owners or their relatives should stay in the property."

As per the tourism department's stipulations for participating in the scheme, the serviced villa should be an independent, furnished home preferably built in traditional Kerala architecture, department sources said.

A minimum of one room and maximum of six rooms or 12 beds for guests are required, besides a well equipped kitchen with a cook well versed in Kerala cuisine and a qualified person who can speak English.

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Image: Tea garden in Munnar, Idukki.
Photographs: Courtesy, keralatourism.org
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A five-member apex committee, appointed by the department of tourism, will approve the establishment and oversee the implementation of the scheme. A fee for approval or renewal of the service villas is Rs 2,500, the sources said.

The tourism department has also started 11 units under 'Vazhyoram' project, which envisages development of quality wayside facilities throughout the state with private sector participation.Refreshment centres, toilets, parking facilities can be provided by those having landed property on National Highways and main roads under the project.

Three more are likely to be started this year, sources said.


Image: The backwaters of Kerala.
Photographs: Courtesy, keralatourism.org
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