With hardly a year left for its silver jubilee celebrations, the government youth hostel at Kakkanad is looking at putting in place additional facilities that will help it generate more revenue besides catering to a wider range of clientele.

The decision to set up an auditorium on the hostel’s premises is the first step in the direction. The auditorium is expected to be a significant source of revenue and the managing committee of the hostel has already entrusted Nirmithi Kendra with its construction. It will have a seating capacity for 500, besides a stage and a green room.

The Nirmithi Kendra was likely to come up with an estimate for the project in a couple of days, youth hostel sources said.

The hostel is also set to go green by setting up solar energy units, which will help reduce the power bill considerably.

The youth hostel was set up under the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in 1989.

A campaign aimed at elevating the hostel to international standards and linking it to a global network comprising more than 3,600 youth hostels spread across 210 countries is also on the anvil. Modernisation of the hostel’s website and offering online booking facilities are also part of the campaign.

Setting up information counters at railway stations and airports are also being proposed. Youth hostel sources said single rooms needed to be constructed before information counters were set up. At present, the hostel has mostly dormitories while tourists would be looking for better accommodation facilities.

“We already have a proposal for constructing single rooms. Since it attracts considerable investment, either the State or the Union government should provide the funding to get it implemented,” sources said.

Meanwhile, the nominal rent being charged by the hostel has made it a major attraction for the film and television industry.

The hostel has managed a profit of Rs.5 lakh by renting its premises for shooting of films.

The hostel has so far appeared in 100-odd films in various ‘roles’ ranging from passport office to post office to hotel.

There is also a belief in the film industry that shooting at least a scene in the hostel premises brings luck to the film or the TV serial.

However, with a rise in demand, the managing committee of the hostel has decided to go in for a slight rise in the rent.

As per the revised rates, the hostel will be made available for film shooting at Rs.7,500 a day and for television serials at Rs.6,000 a day. The managing committee is also planning to implement a project to make available more facilities to help the shooting of movies and serials.

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