Indian hotels to go the international way

By agencies   |   Monday, 24 July 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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MUMBAI: It’s party time in the Indian hospitality industry! Over 142 projects are set to start in India with a combined investment of $1.65 billion. An increase in the number of burgeoning middle class and international tourists has led to a severe shortage of quality hotel rooms in the country that has led to this spur.

American and European markets are cashing in on this opportunity in the Indian hospitality sector, say industry analysts. With a rise of 13.2 percent in the number of international tourists in 2005, the government projects figures to rise to 15 percent this year.

International brands like Amanda, Satinwoods, Banana Tree, Hampton Inns and others are planning to enter the Indian markets in collaboration with domestic hotel majors. Hotel developers like ITS, Viceroy, Unitech, Royal Palms, EIH and DLF are negotiating deals and plans with various hotel brands. ITC is looking to extend its collaboration with U.S. based Starwood Hotels beyond Sheraton, to W Hotels, Westin, Four Points and Aloft.

Unitech has plans to extend its range of two hotels in Delhi to three new ones in Kolkata, Gurgaon and noida in a joint venture with Marriot International with a $160 million investment, said Sanjay Chandra, Unitech Managing Director.

Dilawara nensy, joint Managing Director of Royal Palms said, ¬ďWe are planning to expand our hospitality business to other places like Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata in the next few years and we are in talks with leading chains.¬Ē He predicted the existing hotels to continue flourishing for the next decade.

Hilton International will be a minority stakeholder in DLF, sources said, where the projects would be managed and marketed by Hilton International under the DLF-Hilton joint venture. DLF plans to operate more than 100 businesses and four-star hotels in 50 cities in the country spanning the next decade and more. the would also introduce brands like Travel lodge, Howard Johnson, Galileo GDS and Gulliver Travels in the country.

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