|By Meena Nichani, The Economic Times, India|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Mar. 20, 2005 - MUMBAI, India -- The ITC group has segmented its 66 hotels across India into four different brand categories after an extensive in-house re-branding exercise.
This segmentation is in line with the global practice wherein hospitality companies have different brands for different market segments and different price points.
The seven super deluxe hotels will be under the ITC banner, and another seven five-star luxury hotels will be under the Welcom brand, followed by the 15 mid-market full service hotels under the Welcom Fortune brand.
All the 37 heritage hotels (forts, palaces and havellis) will have the Welcom heritage brand.
"Each brand group has an identity appealing to various price points. It also helps the customer identify with the product and accordingly expect a certain level of service and ambience. We plan expansions under all the brands but the major action will be in the mid market full service hotel segment," said Hari Haran, vice-president, sales & marketing, ITC Welcom group of Hotels.
Hotels under the ITC flagship are the ITC Maurya Sheraton, followed by ITC Maratha Sheraton and ITC Grand Central in Mumbai, ITC Park Sheraton and Towers Chennai, ITC Kakatia Sheraton Hyderabad, ITC Windsor Sheraton and Towers Bangalore and ITC Sonar Bangla Sheraton & Towers.
"All the new prestigious hotels are under the ITC prefix. We plan to have at least two or more than two hotels in each metro city or big cities of India under the ITC prefix. We are currently adding one hotel each in Bangalore and Chennai," said Mr Hari Haran.
The Welcom brand will cover 7 hotels: Welcom Mughal Sheraton Agra, Welcom Rajputana Palace Sheraton Jaipur, Chola Sheraton Chennai, Welcom Hotel Rama International Aurangabad and Welcom hotels at New Delhi, Vadadora and Vishakapatnam.
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