CHENNAI: Eighteen hotels and restaurants of the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation have been franchised out to well-qualified and professional firms, Tourism Secretary V. Varaprasada Rao said on Friday.
The total number of hotels and restaurants was around 50. Those with a record of 15-25 years and professional competence were chosen for running them, he said after inaugurating a travel and tourism fair here.
Clarifying that the Government had not privatised the property, Mr. Rao said not all hotels and restaurants would be given on franchise. From the point of view of prestige and security, the Government would maintain some of them.
Mr. Rao said that after 2001, the Government increased its outlay for the tourism sector. It recently issued orders, sanctioning the creation of Adi Sankara and Jain circuits. The Central and State Government would bear the cost of the schemes.
The Adi Sankara circuit, covering places visited by Adi Sankaracharya, would include Kancheepuram, Chidambaram, Tiruchi, Madurai, Tuticorin and Tiruchendur. A dozen Jain temples in the State would be covered in the Jain circuit.
"We are planning to start the Swami Vivekananda circuit shortly." The areas visited by the Swami on his return from the United States after his Chicago address would be covered.
Subhash Dama, Regional Director (South), Indiatourism, wanted aggressive marketing done for Tamil Nadu.
G. Ibrahim, project director, Fairfest Media Limited, organiser of the fair, said three countries and 10 States, besides a number of private players, were taking part in the fair, which is being held at Rajah Muthiah and Rani Meyyammai halls, till January 29.