IHG likely to commission 41 luxury hotels in 3-5 years

Kolkata, Feb 14 (IANS) The tourism sector in India has got a boost due to the huge amount of domestic tourism and the visa on arrival facilities, hospitality major InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) on Tuesday said.

It said that 41 new properties, which are in the pipeline, will likely be commissioned in the next 3-5 years.

“Around 41 hotels which are in pipeline across India will likely be commissioned in the next 3-5 years,” said company’s Head of South West Asia, Shantha De Silva.

The Group presently runs 29 hotels across major Tier One and some Tier Two cities in India under the brands of InterContinental Hotels, Holiday Inn, Crown Plaza, and Holiday Express.

“There is a huge amount of domestic tourism available in the country and the visa on arrival facilities has also given a boost to the sector,” De Silva said at the launch of Holiday Inn here – the company’s first hotel in the eastern region.

The luxury property is spread across 6,500 sq ft of banqueting space and has 137 keys.

According to De Silva, the group has plans to open 100-150 more hotels in the next 10-year horizon.

Asked about the pricing of accommodation, De Silva said, “We will play at the higher end of the market. It also depends on demand and supply.”

He also said that India is the third largest market from a development perspective and thus the expansion plans are expected in the hospitality sector in the coming years.

“India is the third largest market from a pipeline perspective as to the number of developing projects that we have, not from an operating perspective. It is behind America and China,” the Sri Lankan hotelier said.

The Jain Group tied up with the hospitality major to introduce three Five-star Holiday Inn properties in West Bengal, with one each in Kolkata, Durgapur and Siliguri.

While the investment behind the Kolkata branch of Holiday Inn was around Rs 180 crore, the real estate company said it was “approximately Rs 500-550 crore in Durgapur and Siliguri”.

The Siliguri wing will have 127 keys and Durgapur 135-140.

“Kolkata has fewer good brand hotels,” Rishi Jain, Executive Director, Jain Group, told IANS.

“There is a genuine dearth of banqueting space for social functions like marriages. This city hotel has hosted four social functions in one week. We are looking at 58 per cent occupancy in the first year. Then we would surely expand,” he added.

–IANS

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