Taj group to open 43 new hotels in 4 years: Bickson

Taj group to open 43 new hotels in 4 years: Bickson

Mumbai: Indian Hotels Company that owns the Taj brand of luxury hotels, said on Thursday it will open 43 new properties in the next four years.

“We have a project pipeline of 43 properties across our brands. Timeline for the same is 36-48 months," managing director and chief executive of the company Raymond Bickson told reporters on the sidelines of an international summit organised by the Hotel Investment Forum India here today.

These proposed 43 properties will have 10,000 to 12,000 rooms, headded.

On the location of the proposed properties, he said, “The majority of these additions will be within the country. We have planned growth for the Ginger, Gateway, Vivanta and Taj brands. But outside the country, it will be just with the Taj brand."

The Tata Group company owns and runs six brands of hotels in the luxury, premium, mid-market and value segments.

The Taj brand with its iconic property being the Taj Hotel and Palace in south Mumbai is the flagship of the group; the resort and spa brand Taj Exotica; Taj Safaris are wildlife lodges; Vivanta by Taj come in the premium hotels & resorts segment; The Gateway Hotel operates the upscale/mid-market full service hotels and resorts and last is the economy brand Ginger.

Taj group has 66 hotels in 42 locations across the country with an additional 16 international hotels in the Maldives, Malaysia, Australia, Britain, the US, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Africa and the Middle East, according the information posted on the company website.

Bickson further informed that the company is chalking out plans to add 1200 to 2,000 rooms this year across the world.

On the occupancy, he said, the hotels have seen 15-20% rise in occupancy in the quarter ended December, adding average rentals have reached the pre-crisis levels.

On the plans to hive-off its overseas properties and bring them under one single entity, Bickson said, the plan would take a few years.

The company is also looking at various options to raise funds, he said but declined to elaborate. On his outlook for 2011, he said he sees growth across all its properties, but the emphasis would be on expanding its budget brand Ginger.

Bickson also said the company plans to increase the number of Ginger properties to 150-200 this decade from 30 at present.