Hotel Online 
News for the Hospitality Executive

Le Meridien Plans to Add Largest Number of New
 Hotels in India, More than Any Other
 Country Globally
By Meena Nichani, The Economic Times, India
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

Jan. 26, 2005 - MUMBAI, India -- The UK based Le Meridien group of hotels, which has a major presence with 10 hotels across India, has outlined plans to double its base to 20 hotels in India by '09.

Robert E Riley, CEO, Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts, UK, told ET, "We will add the largest number of new hotels in India, more than in any other country globally.

We are already the largest operating international chain with a presence in all major cities." He said that, second rung cities and tourist destinations are now the targets.

With airports coming up in cities like Chandigarh and increased air connectivity, we will have hotels in cities like Lucknow, Gurgoan, Chandigarh, Haryana and Goa, he added.

Prior to joining the UK-based Le Meridien Hotels group, in December '03, Mr Riley was CEO of Hong Kong based Mandarin Hotel group between 1988 and 1998. During his decade long tenure, the Mandarin hotel group grew from its traditional Asian base into a successful global luxury hotel group.

India top's the Le Meridien's list as a priority destination in Asia, Mr Riley said. All Le Meridien hotels in India are profitable and average occupancy across India for '04 was 83 percent. According to him, India's tourism industry is still in a nascent stage of growth and will grow considerably.

The group is confident of adding ten more hotels as they have added nine hotels during the last five years. "The group is also strengthening our position in south Asia with new hotels in Karachi and Kathmandu.

Commenting on the possible global take-over of Le Meridien group by Starwood Hotels which owns the Sheraton brand," Mr Riley said, "The deal is still under negotiation and irrespective of the takeover by Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the Le Meridien group will continue to grow as an independent hotel brand and achieve the targets."

-----To see more of The Economic Times, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to

(c) 2005, The Economic Times, India. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. For information on republishing this content, contact us at (800) 661-2511 (U.S.), (213) 237-4914 (worldwide), fax (213) 237-6515, or e-mail [email protected] HOT,

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.OnlineSearch
Home | Welcome| Hospitality News | Classifieds| Catalogs& Pricing |
Viewpoint Forum | Ideas&Trends | Press Releases
Please contact Hotel.Onlinewith your comments and suggestions.