A move is afoot to set up a chain of speciality hotels in pilgrim towns. South India is the focus of this initiative launched by Daiwik Hotels Pvt. Ltd., which plans to open the first two such hotels in Rameswaram and Tirupati. Some of the properties may also come through acquisition.

Managing Director and CEO Debashis Ghosal said that the hotel at Rameswaram was undergoing a soft pilot run now. The flagship project at Tirupati, with 140 keys, was expected to be ready within 30 months, by which the group hoped to put in place five such temple-tourism projects. The investment of Rs.180 crore was being met from equity and bank finance.

He said the four-star category properties would not only offer hospitality, but also information about the temple rituals and their timing.

He said 20 hotels would be set up, of which five would be in the South. “The towns on our radar are: Madurai, Kanyakumari, Thiruvananthapuram and Srisailam.” He said in places such as Varanasi, the target would be to capture the devout Hindus as well as Buddhists since Sarnath was closeby.

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