Indian Hotels to complete 43 projects in 3-4 years

Indian Hotels to complete 43 projects in 3-4 years

Mumbai: Indian Hotels Co Ltd, which owns the Taj chain, plans to execute a pipeline of 43 projects over the next 36-48 months, its managing director Raymond Bickson said on Thursday.

This will result in addition of 10,000-12,000 rooms, Raymond Bickson said on the sidelines of an international hospitality conference organised by the Hotel Investment Forum India.

“The majority of these (addition) will be in India. We have planned growth for Ginger, Gateway, Vivanta and Taj. But outside India, it will be just with Taj," Bickson said.

The company was also looking at various options to raise funds, he said but declined to elaborate.

While growth in 2011 would be spread across all its properties, the emphasis would be on expanding its budget category under Ginger brand.

“Ginger for us is a value proposition. It’s an occupancy-driven property," he told Reuters Insider.

The company is planning to increase the number of Ginger hotels to 150-200 this decade, he said. At present, there are 30 hotels under this brand in the country.

Bickson also said the average room rentals (ARR) had been restored to pre-2008 levels.

An economic slowdown in 2008-09 had impacted business travel, which was worsened by the terror attacks in Mumbai, but the industry had started seeing an upswing in both business and leisure travel in the country.

While the company was not planning to raise ARRs this fiscal, it would consider increasing room tariffs in the next season, starting September.

The Tata group is also planning to hive off its international properties into a separate company over the next few years.

He said it was “too early" to say whether Indian Hotels plans to list this entity. At 12.46 pm, shares of the company were down 0.74% at Rs101 in a Mumbai market that was down 0.94%.