The Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation has decided to lease out some of its hotels to private firms to catch up with the latest trends in the hospitality sector.
Barring its facilities at Patna, Muzaffarpur, Bodhgaya, Rajgir and Mohania, the corporation would lease out all its hotels to private parties initially for a year. The firms would be responsible for all the operations of the establishments, including housekeeping, kitchen, public areas and bars. If they run the show properly, their contract would be extended up to five years.
The corporation has made substantial progress under this scheme. It has already handed over the operation of Hotel Vishwamitra Vihar at Buxar, Hotel Vishnu Vihar at Gaya and Hotel Shershah Vihar at Sasaram to private firms on lease.
The private operators would have to convert at least 50 per cent of the rooms and restaurants air-conditioned. They would also have to upgrade the interior decoration of the rooms and the restaurants.
The poor status of the most corporation-run hotels and staff crunch prompted the move to lease out the hotels. Explaining the need of handing over the hotels on lease, Awadhesh Kumar, managing director, Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation, told The Telegraph: “The Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation hotels are spread all across the state and we do not have enough manpower to ensure the best services in all of them. We also found that the available manpower is not well trained. Thus, we decided to hand over the hotels to private parties to ensure better management and proper guest services.”
He said: “The contract for leasing out the operations of the hotels would be initially signed for a year. It can be extended up to five years later. In case a private firm fails to meet the expectations, the corporation would have the right to terminate the contract and confiscate its guarantee money.” The managing director claimed that the leasing out process would not affect the existing employees at the corporation hotels. “Those working in the hotels would be retained by the corporation. Hospitality training would be provided to them to enhance their performance,” said Awadhesh.
Steps are also being taken to renovate the hotels to be run by the tourism corporation. Four architects on Wednesday gave a presentation on their concept design for the redevelopment of Hotel Kautilya Vihar in Patna as a four-star hotel. According to sources, there are plans to increase the number of floors in the existing structure and develop a new block on the garage site on the rear side of the hotel.