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Taj goes to Mauritius

Mumbai, Aug. 7: Indian Hotels Company — the firm that owns and manages the Taj chain of hotels — today signed a hotel operating and franchise agreement with Mauriplage Beach Resort, Mauritius, for an initial term of 10 years.

With this deal, the Tatas-owned Taj group of hotels has established a beachhead in the island state of Mauritius, a tax haven in the Indian Ocean, which is also a major tourist spot for Europeans.

Mauriplage chairman Kailash Ramdanee and Indian Hotels managing director Raymond Bickson signed the agreement. Prime Minister of Mauritius, Aneerood Jugnauth, Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata group of companies and R. K. Krishna Kumar, vice-chairman, Indian Hotels, were also present.

The hotels major’s new business strategy stresses on expansion of business by taking over the management of hotels. This would entail very little capital investment but would give it a share of the profits in addition to management fees.

The agreement with the Mauritius company is a hotel operating and franchise agreement for an initial term of 10 years with an option of renewing it for another 10 years.

The owners would develop an exclusive luxury project with 78 villas spread over 11.77 hectares at Wolmar in the district of Black River. The construction will start on August 15, 2003. The estimated completion date is November 2004.

Food and beverage facilities at the resort would include an all-day dining restaurant, a speciality restaurant and a bar. Other facilities include a spa, sports complex and children club.

The Taj group said the new initiative comes after the launch and success of the Taj Exotica Resorts & Spa in Maldives. With this project, the Taj will extend its presence further in the Indian Ocean.

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