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NEW DELHI: Hotels-to-cigarettes conglomerate ITC Ltd is venturing into the boutique lifestyle hotel segment with a new brand Storii, the company said in its annual report released late on Tuesday. The launch is a part of its strategy to focus more on managing properties rather than owning them going forward, to aid revenue growth as it battles the impact of the pandemic on hospitality sector.

The company said that within its hotel business, it would pursue an “asset right" technique under which a large part of incremental room additions going forward will accrue through management contracts.

“The business is witnessing growing interest amongst property owners to align with the iconic brands resulting in healthy generation of leads and pipeline for management contracts. In this context, apart from its Welcomhotels brand, plans are on the anvil to introduce a boutique brand – ‘Storii’ to offer curated travel experiences to the new age traveller," ITC said in the report.

The company added that while new hotel signings and openings took a hit in 2020-21 due to the pandemic, it is assured of bouncing again as the state of affairs normalises.

It continues to make digital investments towards facilitating guest acquisition, enhancing guest experience, augmenting revenue generation and driving operational efficiency, the company said.

“The second wave of the pandemic has triggered a fresh round of mobility and travel restrictions leading to severe disruptions. The near-term outlook for the hospitality industry will depend largely on the return of confidence in business and leisure travel. Progress of vaccination, rate of covid infections and easing of restrictions will be key monitorables in the near term," ITC added.

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