Bolgatty Palace is all set to undergo a massive face list to join the celebrity league of elite hotels in the country. Plans are on anvil to convert it into a heritage hotel to exclusively cater to the high-end tourists.
Efforts are on to renovate this magnificent KTDC property into a separate profit centre and a self-reliant tourist destination with health club, restaurant and other recreational facilities to make it a first class premium hotel. The total budget outlay is Rs.12-15 crore and the work is expected to be completed in two years.
The new block ‘Nalukettu’ with 24 rooms and six lake front cottages located in the KTDC property at Bolgatty Island, will also be refurbished as a resort. With Kochi playing host to many prestigious international events such as the Volvo race slated to be in December, these resorts can expect a tremendous tourist influx as there is a huge supply demand gap in quality hotels in this city. The proposed premium hotel of Marina House that offers the breathtaking views of the upcoming marina would be another hot spot to watch out in the tourist map of Kerala.
Kochi: The Volvo fever is in the air and festivity mood is palpable in the tourist industry as the count down for Volvo has already begun. The Cochin port would be one of the pit stops for upcoming Volvo Ocean Race and Kerala is leaving no stone unturned in flaunting its tourism potential. Countless foreigners are expected to touch down at Kochi to see the race, commonly called `Everest of Sailing’, as it is one of the world’s most challenging team events.
2008-09 Volvo will have nine teams, seven inshore races and eleven ocean legs apart from many short stopovers. Cochin port is the only Indian destination chosen and also holds the distinction of being the first port in the country that has been chosen as a whistle stop for this prestigious yacht race. It is exciting to note that the arrival of race teams on Dec 3- Dec13 complements the peak tourist season in Kerala. The other ports of call include Singapore, Qingdao, Rio de Janeiro, Boston, Galway, Gothenborg and Stockholm.
A sprawling race village spread over 2.5 acres of land will come up at Willingdon Island with 10,000 sq metres of covered space and over 200,000 sq metres of open space. The Kerala tourism department and Cochin Port Trust will shell out a staggering Rs.300 million for organizing this mega event and a major part of this amount is likely to be mobilized through sponsorships. More than that, Kerala would be paraded at its best among the tourists who would throng to enjoy this event.
Kerala tourism is sure to benefit from this highly acclaimed event. The mood in the hotel industry is upbeat as organizers will be earmarking over 1,500 premium rooms along with 3,500 other rooms for the guests who arrive from various parts of the world to experience the thrills and spills of this event. In addition over 150 houseboats will be arranged near the race village to cater to the accommodation needs. Volvo race will be flagged off in Alicante, Spain on Oct 4 and will traverse a total of 39,325 nautical miles in a period of nine months before ending at St. Petersburg, Russia in July 2009.
Kochi: Kochi is about to set its indelible imprints on the world maritime map by playing host to the Volvo Ocean Race 2008, the agreement for which was signed here. The Volvo race is the world’s most prestigious offshore round the world yacht race, and is touted as the most challenging team-sporting event in the genre of ocean race .
This is the first time that the race is passing through Asia, and Kochi is the only port of call in India, making it all the more special to the “Queen of Arabian Sea” Scores of adventurous seafarers are expected to put to test their mettle in this event. The yachts are expected to reach Kochi on December 3, 2008 from cape Town and Kochi is one among the only three Asian stopovers , when the participating yachts are expected to call at Kochi on December 3 (from Cape Town).
The race will trigger a tourist boom of well heeled, elite tourists from all over the world, bringing in precious foreign exchange. The race will be flagged off from Alicante in Spain in October 2008, and is expected to be wrapped up in July 2009 at St. Petersburg, Russia, after completing over 39,000 nautical miles! The visiting yachts will drop anchor at the berth arranged by the Cochin Port Trust, a formidable name among the hosts that are actively involved in this prestigious event.
The yachts will reach Kochi after completing the Spanish and South African legs, to proceed to Singapore, China, Brazil, the U.S., Ireland, and Sweden before reaching the final destination of Russia. Seven entries are confirmed so far and the participants will be spending over 4 months ashore during this expedition that spans over 9 months in total. A few Olympic gold medalists in yachting are also participating in the event, which would add a speck of celebrity status to the event.
Kerala Tourism Department and other bodies including the Yachting Association of India will take care of the promotion and publicity of the event to make it a big success. Volvo Race Director Andy Hindley and the Managing Director of Kerala Tourism Development Corporation K.G. Mohanlal have inked an agreement in this regard. Volvo race has come as a token of recognition of the rich seafaring legacy of Kochi that dates back to thousands of years back when spices were traded through the sea routes of Kochi by the Portuguese traders.