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Hyatt, Marriott and InterContinental Major Players in Adding 58,000
 Hotel Room to India's Capacity During the Next Five Years

By P.R. Sanjai, Mint, New DelhiMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

April 8, 2010 --Hoteliers in India would add around 58,000 rooms in the next five years, led by global companies such as Hyatt Corp., Marriott International Inc. and InterContinental Hotels Group, as travel and tourism revives after an economic slowdown.

"Last financial year saw India adding 10,000 rooms. With the revival in the sector, India will add another 58,000 more," said Manav Thadani, managing director at hotel consulting and valuation firm HVS. "Out of this, 60% would be executed by international brands."

Many delegates at the Hotel Investment Conference South Asia 2010 on Wednesday said India's growth rates are second only to China.

"India is relatively under-hoteled market," said Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc. vice-chairman and chief financial officer Vasant Prabhu. "India with a population of one billion people has just 100,000 hotel rooms, while greater New York city alone has roughly 80,000 hotel rooms."

Prabhu said his company is planning to own and manage at least 100 hotels in India in the next three to five years, up from the current 26. He also said his company is open to acquiring an Indian brand to bolster its presence.

Jolyon Bulley, vice-president, operations, South East and South West Asia at InterContinental, said the company would add 40 hotels to its existing 11 properties in the next three to four years.

Rajeev Menon, area vicepresident at Marriott Hotels India Pvt. Ltd said his group will build 29 hotels in addition to its present 11.

Indian firms are not far behind, with Sarovar Hotels Pvt. Ltd, a franchiser for Park Plaza and the Park Inn hotel brands in India, leading the way. "We will be building 20 hotels this year. Six will be in Delhi due to Commonwealth Games," said Anil Madhok, managing director at Sarovar Hotels. "We may not be adding 20 hotels every year, but eight to 10."

Raymond N. Bickson, managing director and chief executive at Indian Hotels Co. Ltd, owner of the Taj chain of hotels, said the firm wants to "build a hotel every seven weeks."


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