Marriott International Inc. is firming up plans to manage 1,500 rooms in Pune by 2009-10, according to people close to the development who did not wish to be identified. The company had earlier announced plans to manage three hotels, and 833 rooms in the city.
The people close to the development, said Marriott has finalized plans to manage four properties in the emerging IT-hubs of Hinjewadi and Kharadi, the industrial area of Chinchwad, and Station Road that together account for 750 rooms under the Courtyard Marriott brand. A fifth property, a 250-JW Marriott hotel, is being built on the city’s arterial Yerwada Road. And the company plans a sixth, a full-service 430-room hotel and convention centre in the city. Marriott had previously announced its plans to manage three of the properties, the convention centre, the hotel on Yerawada Road, and one of the Courtyard Marriotts.
A spokesperson for Marriott International said in an email that Pune, “like a number of other cities in India, is very attractive for future hotel development. It is home to a number of renowned institutions of higher education, has a strong IT base as well as a manufacturing base.” However, he said the company could not “comment on the three additional properties” because it did not respond to “market rumours or speculation”.
The people close to the development added construction contracts for five of the six hotels had already been awarded to the city-based Pachshil Realty. The construction firm did not comment on this.
Pune’s hospitality industry has witnessed a boom over the past year with occupancy rates soaring over 80% now and room rates in the five-star category crossing Rs12,000 a night. Executives in the hospitality industry maintain the city is currently witnessing a shortage of over 3,000 rooms a night across categories. Several chains, including Hyatt, Radisson, Leela Kempinski, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Westin and Sheraton have plans for the city.
The rush to develop hotels in Pune could hurt the industry in the long-term, said an analyst. “The city will have over 7000 rooms in the next three years and this will lead to an over-supply situation and a correction in occupancy and room rates,” said Siddharth Thaker, associate director with HVS International, a hospitality industry consulting firm.