Neotia Group plans to expand partnership with Indian Hotels Company
The Neotia group is looking to widen its footprint in the hospitality segment and further strengthen its partnership with hospitality major Indian Hotels Company (IHCL).
The Sunderbans and Gorumara forest in Bengal and Sikkim is on the group’s radar besides development of heritage properties.
“There are three-four properties (land parcels) we have acquired in Bengal and where we intend to establish a hotel. We are yet to work out the plans as our hands are full till 2023 end.
“In Sunderbans we hope to do a boutique project with Taj. We have another property in Dooars near Gorumara forest and there is another in Sikkim. Besides, we are exploring some heritage property also for restoration,” said Harshavardhan Neotia, chairman, Ambuja Neotia Group.
On the occasion of opening of Raajkutir, an IHCL SeleQtions hotel, Neotia said that the existing projects are on track for completion by 2023-24 despite the challenges of the pandemic. IHCL in November 2020 had announced the signing of projects in Bengal, Bihar and Sikkim with a cumulative room count of 500.
With the relaunch of 33 room Raajkutir, IHCL will have six hotels across brands in Calcutta, including two under development.
Neotia said the Taj Hotel at Ambuja City Centre in Calcutta (erstwhile Swissotel) with 147 rooms is expected to be operational in the next couple of months and another hotel is expected in 15-18 months.
A 126-room hotel at Ambuja City Centre in Patna is expected in another year and half.
“We believe the opportunity in Bengal and the entire north-east is tremendous and we will have a strong presence in Bengal across all our brands,” said Rohit Khosla, executive vice-president, IHCL.
He added that average room rents of the hospitality major have been resilient despite occupancies being affected during the pandemic.
The city based hotels have been struggling more than the leisure hotels because of government guidelines and restrictions.
“Leisure destinations have been more resilient than business destinations. We definitely see business destinations picking up soon. The moment the third wave wanes we will see an increase in occupancy,” he said.