Canadian firm invests $4 B in India's hotel sector

Thursday, 12 April 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: An Indian Canadian's Vancouver-based company is to invest $4 billion (170 billion) on creating 15,000 budget hotel rooms across India in collaboration with a global hospitality chain, it was announced.

With this, Royal Indian Raj International Corporation (RIJIC) hopes to plug the "severe under-representation" in India's mid-market two, three and four-star segments, the company's Managing Director Manoj C. Benjamin said. He was speaking at a press conference to announce a tie-up with Choice Hotels India to run the approximately 100 hotels RIJIC will build.

"The under-representation, combined with India's population growth co-relates to significant growth opportunities for years to come," Benjamin explained of the project that is set to commence over the next 12 months.

During the first phase, the company plans to cover the cities of Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Goa and Pune. Tier-two cities and towns will be covered in the second phase.

"With our joint expertise in the real estate and hospitality business, this relationship would offer the best hotel value for the growing inbound, outbound and domestic travel sectors across the country," Choice Hospitality India CEO Vilas Pawar said.

"In addition to lovely urban design, the hotels will be well located, with state-of-art conference facilities, themed restaurants and excellent service deliveries.

"By providing the best value for the money spent, combined with quality accommodation designed to international standards, we commit to our customers a happy stay and high levels of service," Pawar added.

Benjamin's company is already represented in India, having invested over $2 billion on creating integrated upscale neighbourhoods in Mumbai and Bangalore, the first of six such developments planned across India.

Mumbai's Royal Garden Marina City and Financial Harbour is spread over 3,000 acres.

According to Benjamin, "it will be one of Asia's largest real estate developments and India's first smart city, with 22.8 million square metres of high-tech retail, medical, educational and housing facilities."

The project comprises over 50,000 residential units, a central business district, an industrial district, an entertainment district, parks, restaurants, shopping and educational facilities and civic amenities.

Bangalore's Royal Garden City is a 3,000-acre live/work/play development featuring over 146 sq. ft. of residential, commercial and industrial space. Similar developments are also planned for Hyderabad, Goa, Delhi and Chennai.

Choice Hotels India is part of Choice Hotels International that operates some 5,000 properties across the globe. The company has 30 hotels in 20 Indian destinations like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Thiruvananthapuram and Shimla.
Source: IANS
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