India next big market for leisure real estate
Friday, 24 August 2007, 07:00 Hrs
New Delhi: With its booming economy and burgeoning middles class, India is the next big market for the leisure real estate market, according to Kenneth May, chairman and chief executive of global leisure real estate leader Group RCI. "India is poised for growth in leisure real estate and is at the helm of explosive economic growth," May said, inaugurating a 'Leisure Real Estate Symposium, here Friday. "The market for leisure real estate (in India) today is expected to gain further momentum over the next few years," he added. Over 100 representatives from India's hospitality, real estate and travel industry attended the daylong event, which deliberated on trends in leisure real estate or non-hotel holiday accommodation facilities and opportunities for Indian industry. Referring to the growing middle class in India, May said, "With growing disposable incomes and aspirations and the enormous tourism potential in India, the time could not be better for the industry to launch new leisure real estate models that will meet the needs of the evolving consumer." Speaking on the occasion, Amitabh Kant, principal secretary (industries & commerce) in the Kerala government, said, "With the growing purchasing power of the Indian, holidays are involving experiential and aspirational experiences for the traveller." Kant, a former joint secretary in the tourism ministry, said that the 'Incredible India' campaign of the government opened up newer destinations and new experiences like rural tourism and medical tourism for both the domestic and international traveller. "Indian tourism is expected to grow at the rate of 20-25 percent per annum till 2017, posing a huge opportunity for wealth creation in the country," he said. A Group RCI press release, quoting a World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) report, stated that India is expected to be the third fastest growing country in the world in travel and tourism demand over the next 10 years. That growth, coupled with the 19.8 percent increase in the number of Indians living in India with financial assets of over $1 trillion, are important factors to promote the growth of leisure real estate in India, it stated. In Friday's symposium, several panel discussions were held on issues like relevance of shared ownership leisure products in India and Asia, asset optimisation in real estate investment and implementing successful marketing and sales strategies. Among the leading Indian companies which attended the event were Cushman & Wakefield India, Indian Hospitality company, Reliance Industries, Parsvnath Developers, Starwood Hotels and Ambuja Realty.