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Local expansion on hotel menu

New Delhi, Jan. 1: Global hotel majors are making a beeline for India in the new decade.

Marriott International plans to open 18 hotels by the end of next year and expects to grow 10 times over the next decade. The international chain now runs 10 hotels.

“By the end of 2010, we will have seven Courtyards, four JW Marriotts and one Renaissance hotel. We are also looking to set up hotels in places such as Nashik, Lucknow, Amritsar and Kochi,” said Rajeev Menon, area vice-president (India, Pakistan, Maldives and Malaysia) of Marriott International.

The group’s hotels in India include the 5-star Marriott, the premium JW Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance and budget hotel Courtyard.

“We expect recovery in the hotel business by the last quarter of next year. In the next 18-24 months, we expect demand to outstrip supply,” he said.

Mumbai-based DB Hospitality Pvt Ltd, part of DB Group, will invest over Rs 5,500 crore by 2014.

The company has entered into a contract with global major Hyatt Hotels Corporation to build and own five hotels.

The properties will open between 2010 and early 2014. Under construction are the Grand Hyatt in Goa and Pune, the Hyatt Palace in Pune and Mundra (Gujarat), besides the Park Hyatt Mumbai.

“The introduction of five Hyatt properties in India, one of the world’s most vibrant emerging markets, illustrates our commitment to expand our global footprint,” said Ratnesh Verma, senior vice-president of real estate and development for Hyatt.

US-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts plans 14 hotels, taking its room inventory to 7,500 over the next three years, said Don Elliot, regional vice-president (India, Bangladesh and Maldives), Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

In the pipeline are five Aloft hotels, three Sheraton and six Westin properties.

The Le Meridien, Westin, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton and Four Points by Sheraton are the Starwood brands in India.

Elliot said the company was also looking to bring the St Regis and W hotels to India.

“We are looking at partners to bring these brands. Talks are going on with some developers and we will introduce them when we get the right partner in the right city,” he had said earlier.

Other names in the fray are Accor, InterContinental Hotels Group and budget chain Berggruen Hotels.

P. R. Srinivas of Deloittesaid, “We may see as many as 92 hotels, or 15,627 rooms being created if the plans of all the hotel chains, both domestic as well international, come through.”

According to Srinivas, around 415 projects, or 68,480 rooms, are under various stages of development and 41 per cent of the projects are expected to start from 2010.

“However, it could take a while for supply to catch up with real demand, given the shortage of about one lakh rooms in the country,” Srinivas said.

Industry estimates see the addition of 15,600 rooms in 2010. That is about a 15 per cent increase from the current inventory of just over one lakh rooms.

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