Incredibly Hospitable India

The hospitality sector of India is growing at an extremely fast pace. The country’s hospitality industry is considered as one of the highly profitable industries, contributing significant amount of foreign exchange to the economy. Hotels are extremely important component of tourism industry and they contribute to the sector by offering services and facilities of extremely high standard. Several foreign players have established their strong presence in the country’s hospitality spaces. These foreign companies mainly include Accor, Starwood, Marriott, Premier Travel Inn (PTI), Cabana Hotels, Mandarin Oriental, Hampton Inns, Banana Tree, Satinwoods, Amanda and many more.

Miraya Hotel Management to bring international mid-market and economy brands to India

Miraya Hotel Management Pvt. Ltd., a start up Hotel Management Company based in Delhi, is all set to debut into the hospitality landscape by becoming Master Licensee for India and the sub-Continent market for international mid-market and economy hotel brands. The company has already signed up with a popular hotel brand in the US to represent their brands in the India market. The announcement is most likely be made in the first week of April by the company.  Speaking to Hospitality Biz, Sudhir Kumar Sinha, Managing Director & CEO of Miraya Hotel Management, said that the company will be rolling out budget and economy brands of a fast growing and reputed US-based hotel company in the India market to start with. He said that the mission is to explore ‘opportunities’ in Tier II and III cities and industrial townships which are not ‘touched’ by big brands so far. The idea is to empower owners of hotels with smaller inventories ranging from 50 to 60 rooms in these cities and townships with an international brand and the capabilities like being part of the international distribution network and training of the brand, he said.  Miraya has already in advanced negotiations with eight to ten hotel owners across the country for branding, and Sinha is hopeful of ‘few break throughs’ in the next couple of weeks. These include non-branded properties even in couple of metro cities, he said. The company will be setting up sales offices in key cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, and Kolkata soon, he said. Miraya also has plans to be a player in the Serviced Apartment and Extended Stay space going forward, Sinha said.

Onyx Hospitality Group planning hotels in India

To cash in on India’s emerging economy, Bangkok-based Onyx Hospitality Group plans to launch 10 hotels and residential properties in the 1.2-billion strong country by 2022. Kashyap Vora, vice president for development, said last week that after studying and exploring opportunities in India for 18 months, they are confident that there is more room to grow for mid-market and upscale hotels and residences to capitalise on the demand. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make In India” campaign, Asia’s third largest economy aims to attract overseas investors to make the country a manufacturing base. The government wants to double the number of foreign tourists in five years from last year’s 7.9 million. The key cities in the group’s sights are Delhi and the National Capital Region, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Pune, Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kochi. The company would enter the Indian hospitality market through its strategic partner Kingsbridge, a hospitality asset management company, with which it has already landed two management contracts. One is for the Amari Noida, a 120-room hotel with 30 residences located in the World Trade Centre Noida project. It will also care for the complex’s facilities such as three restaurants, meeting and convention hall, swimming pool, fitness centre and spa. Construction commences next year for the grand opening to be held in 2019. The other is the Amari Residences GIFT City in Ahmedabad. Ground-breaking for the 120 serviced apartments in the World Trade Centre in Gujarat International Finance Tech-city will be next year and completion in 2018. For the remaining properties, the group has decided to enter into a joint venture with Kingsbridge to co-invest in them on top of managing them. For the JV, the group will bring its upscale Amari brand for hotels and residences while seeking opportunities for second-tier brands like Ozo. Under the Modi administration’s drive to make India a manufacturing-based economy, the hospitality business would benefit more. The new properties would serve the increasing demand from overseas business travellers and local entrepreneurs in those commercial cities. Some industries like pharmaceuticals, insurance, information technology and software, financial services and direct sales were still strong. This also presents a huge opportunity for the group in the meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition business. By 2022, the group aspires to operate 81 properties in Asia-Pacific, South Asia and the Middle East,up from 38 now.
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Carlson Rezidor Hotels to venture into religious tourism

International hotel firm Carlson Rezidor Hotels will soon venture into religious tourism segment in the country, a senior company official has said. Carlson Rezidor Hotels CEO Raj Rana told PTI that they want to be in leisure and also religious destinations where there is lack of branded inventory. He said that their mid-scale brands are positioned in such a way that it will fit the requirements of middle-class segment. The hotel firm recently launched its new property Radisson Goa at Candolim beach. Rana said the company has already marked its presence at religious destinations like Ajmer, Haridwar and Katra. He said that there (are) so many religious places in the country which have no branded hotels. They would like to be in places like Shirdi and (also) southern India where there are religious destinations. The company has 110 properties in the country and continues to sign 12-14 properties each year, Rana said. The company has 1,350 hotels globally and Asia Pacific is the strongest market for the hotel group with huge presence in China and India, he added.
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Mahindra Holidays to invest Rs500 crore in the next two years

Vacation time-share company Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India Ltd will invest Rs.500 crore in the next two years to add 500 rooms as it expects the industry to grow four times its current size. In his first interaction with the media, Kavinder Singh, managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO), said the firm is keen to acquire more resorts either through outright purchase or leasing to expand inventory and a presence footprint across the country. “According to our internal estimates, the vacation industry in the US is at Rs.42,000 crore, which is 5% of the total hotel industry in that country. If we take that as a benchmark, Indian vacation industry should be at Rs.5,400 crore. But we are only at Rs.1250 crore and has potential to grow four to five times,” Singh said. At present, Mahindra Holidays has 178,000 members and 2,500 rooms in 41 resorts. He said the company will fund the expansion from its internal accruals as there is no debt on its books. Singh has taken over from chairman Arun Nanda, who had been handling the additional responsibility since January when the previous chief executive Rajiv Sawhney stepped down. Sawhney was appointed in April 2011. Singh joined in November. Singh brings 28 years of experience in the packaged consumer goods sector, having worked in Asian Paints, ITC Ltd and Pidilite Industries Ltd, the company said in a statement. At ITC, he was responsible for setting up and building the biscuits business. Mahindra Holidays offers family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships. Club Mahindra is the flagship brand of the firm. On Wednesday, Mahindra Holidays launched its new property – Club Mahindra Kanha in Madhya Pradesh. “Club Mahindra Kanha is our fifth wildlife resort and the first in the state of Madhya Pradesh,”  Singh said. Singh said his top priority is to ensure unique experience for customers as it will propel new members, better resort spends and annual subscriptions covering the cost of operations. Mahindra Holidays had bought a 23% stake in Finnish vacation ownership firm Holiday Club Resorts in July with an option to increase it to 100%. “We have not taken a call to increase to 100%. We have time till September 2016,” Singh said. Shares of Mahindra Holidays gained 2.79% to Rs.269.10 on Wednesday on the BSE, while the benchmark Sensex lost 0.72% to close at 29,380.73 points.
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To conclude, we can say that as international tourism is growing every year, the Indian hospitality industry will offer tremendous opportunities for investors to grow. In the near future, the Government of India will try to explore new tourist destinations in order to serve the rising demand for tourism and hospitality in India. In spite of the downgrading given by credit rating agencies to Indian market; foreign players stand firm with their investment plans in the hospitality industry of India. Citing strong growth prospect, foreign investors are nicely poised to continue with their investments in India without any hassles.

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