Highest bidder among hotel conglomerates having expertise in running heritage hotels to get control
Mysore/Mysuru: The Cabinet Sub-Committee that took up the issue of handing over the management and running of the iconic Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel to the Taj Group has decided to call for global tenders from hotel conglomerates that have expertise in running heritage hotels, instead of favouring just one hotel chain.
The Tourism Department officers have been asked to prepare a report in this direction and bring the same before the Cabinet for approval.
It was widely speculated in the media that the Cabinet Sub-Committee that was to meet in Bengaluru on June 14 would hand over the maintenance of the Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel to Taj Group as the Group had come forward to manage the Hotel that is being run at present by State-owned Jungle Lodges and Resorts, a unit of Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC).
Confirming this to Star of Mysore this morning, Tourism Department Director T. Venkatesh said that the Cabinet Sub-Committee met under the leadership of Tourism Minister Anand Singh and Minister of Sericulture, Youth Empowerment and Sports K.C. Narayanagowda on June 14. Others in the meeting included Tourism Secretary N.V. Prasad, Tourism Director T. Venkatesh and representatives from the Finance Department.
“After going through the proceedings, proposals and the present state of the luxury hotel, the Cabinet Sub-Committee decided not to favour any particular
luxury hotel chain like the Taj. Instead, a decision was taken to call for global tenders where many other luxury hotel brands can bid. The highest bidder who accepts the conditions of the Government and the bidder who will maintain the heritage status of Lalitha Mahal will be given the control of the hotel for a certain period,” Venkatesh said.
“We have to call global tenders as part of the rule and then lease out the properties to the highest bidder. As a matter of policy, the Government cannot favour any one business group (Taj) while handing over a Government enterprise like the Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel to a private player,” he said.
As per norms, Request For Proposals (RFP) or global tenders will be floated and the suitable bidder can get to manage the Lalitha Mahal, he added. The Tourism Department officers will study the project for floating global tenders and then submit a report to the Cabinet.
“Tenders will be an open process where many companies that manage heritage hotels or a hotel conglomerate which has expertise in managing heritage properties can bid. The decision has been taken to achieve transparency,” Venkatesh added.