Kerala Tourism Development Corporation
|Kerala Government Undertaking|
|Industry||Tourism, Ecotourism, Hotel Management|
|Founded||November 1, 1966|
|Headquarters||Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India|
The Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) is a public sector undertaking that conducts and regulates the tourism activities in the Indian state of Kerala. The KTDC is headquartered at Thiruvanathapuram and has offices across all the districts of Kerala. The agency also operates hotels, resorts, and tourist rest houses in key locations in the state. Its official slogan is "Official host to God's own country." It is one of the most profitable ventures of the Kerala government.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (August 2012)|
Kerala was a relatively unknown state among tourist circles until the early 1960s. The first initiative to popularize Kerala as a tourist destination was undertaken by Travancore's first prince: H.H. Col. Goda Varma Raja (husband of H.H. The Queen of Travancore) started Kerala Tours Limited to popularize key tourist locations in Travancore Kingdom. When Travancore merged with India, Kerala Tours Limited became a private entity under the Travancore royal family. For more than 20 years since Independence, Kerala trend to ignore tourism as a key industry, leaving KTL and other private players to lead the role. In the 1960s, KTL struck gold, by collaborating with Thomas Cook and started popularizing Kovalam in western countries which started the advent of hippie culture in Kovalam Beach. The strong inflow of tourists into Kovalam, started Kerala government to consider tourism as a key industry. Though it tried to nationalize Kerala Tours Limited, it soon fell into legal issues. This resulted in the government to think starting a new entity known as Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) IN 1966.
Started as a government department, KTDC became a separate commercial entity by the 1970s. Several premium guest houses of Kerala Government were identified and converted into hotel brands.
- To promote Kerala as a leading tourist destination
- To identify key tourist destinations within Kerala and promote it outside
- To provide auxiliary support in developing key tourist destinations
- To provide highest quality hospitality services to tourists
- To act as one-source destination for various informations regarding tourist destinations and other related informations.
- To ensure higher returns to government, through financial and social viable projects, and thereby provide employment
Hotels and motels
KTDC owns more than 40 properties ranging from heritage five-star resorts to budget accommodation, managed under four brands.
KTDC has two resorts and six five- and four-star hotels. All properties in the premium range are individually branded .
- Bolgatty Island Resort, which houses the Bolgatty Palace, a heritage property which is the largest Dutch palace outside the Netherlands. The resort has another property, branded as Island Resort, which has a nine-course golf club, horsing tracks and other facilities.
- Marina House: KTDC manages India's first marina which includes a 24-room hotel, Marina House, located in Bolgatty Island (West), Kochi.
- Mascot Hotel Trivandrum, located in state capital Thiruvananthapuram is a heritage property built in 1902 which used to accommodate Travancore Army officials and Army Center until 1949.
- Lake Palace, a former summer palace of the King of Travancore, is on an island in the middle of the Periyar Lake — 20 minutes by boat from the mainland, located inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
- Aranya Nivas Thekkady built within Periyar National Park is a five-star jungle lodge.
- Waterscapes Kumarakom is a group of lake cottage suites built over Vembanadu Lake in the tourist destination Kumarakom.
- Samudra Beach Kovalam, a five-star property in Kovalam Beach
- Tea Country Munnar, a heritage colonial tea estate bungalow refurnished as a four-star hotel
KTDC has three-star "value plus" range hotels across five districts of Kerala. Most of the hotels are designed to cater business and upper-segment family market. Each value plus hotel property is themed around its location.
- Golden Peak Ponmudi: Honeymoon Hotel
- Chitaram Thiruvananthapuram: City Business Hotel
- Nandhanam Guruvayur: Pilgrim Hotel
- Periyar House Thekkady: Jungle Safari Lodge
- Garden House Malampuzha: Picnic Hotel
- Peppergrove Wayanad: Spice Garden Hotel
Tamarind Eaze is a series of 15 budget hotels spread across Kerala, to cater to budget tourists.
KTDC was one of the first hospitality chains in India to start series of motels across major state and national highways. The motels are branded as Aaram, which are designed as roadside multi-cuisine restaurants. Every Aaram has a large restaurant, rest rooms and many motels have dormitories as well as a medical center. In 2007, another series of motels branded as Vazhiroram started as a public-private partnership, which didn't find as success as Aaram. A few designated Aarams do have beer parlors which serves limited alcohol drinks as well as beer.
KTDC sells packaged tours of Kerala across world, through a network of travel agents and tour agencies who act as general sales agents of KTDC. More than 20 products are offered by KTDC.
Conducted and sight-seeing tours
KTDC conducts one-day and two-day sight-seeing tours in major cities as well as in tourist centers. This includes bus/tourist cars trips and boat ferries.
KTDC have several tourist reception centers in all major cities and tourist centers, from where conducted tours start and end, in addition to providing complementary information about tourist destinations, maps and guides.