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133 hotel projects are in pipeline in South India

As many as 133 hotel projects are in the pipeline in South India, of which 30 are planned in Karnataka in the 3-star and 5- star categories, 61 in Kerala, 20 in Andhra Pradesh in the 3-star category, 18 in Tamil Nadu primarily in the 2-star and 3-star categories and four in Pondicherry in the heritage category.

These would involve an investment of Rs 5,000 crore and are expected to add about 4,000 rooms. Chennai alone is expected to reach 2,700 rooms from 1,200 rooms in the 5-star category during the same period.

In view of the continuing boom in the hospitality sector, the South India Hotels and Restaurants Association (SIHRA) has asked the Tamil Nadu government for grant of industry status. Benefits from industry status include 50 percent allowance in construction and 50 percent capital subsidy, Secretary General of SIHRA R Rangachari told media persons on Saturday. Justifying the demand, he said land prices had skyrocketed and high cost of acquisition was making hotel projects unviable.

SIHRA president P Purushothaman said that while Andhra Pradesh was auctioning land and Pondicherry was granting su sidy to hoteliers, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka offered no such benefits. Highlighting the industry's problems, he explained that while hospital ty was a large consumer of power, under the commercial status it was paying Rs 6.10 per unit while industry was paying a lower Rs 2.85 per unit. He also called for revamping of legislation for administration of liquor in hotel bars.

Purshothaman said that the average occupancy in South Indian hotels ranged between 80 and 85 percent, primarily occupied by business travellers with the peak period being Monday to Friday.

Latest Movements & Appointments

Grand Hyatt Mumbai has appointed Duncan Gray as director (F&B) effective August 1, 2007. With an experience of the last 10 years, Gray will be responsible of heading a 400 people strong food and beverage division for Grand Hyatt Mumbai. Gray has been associated with Accor hotels and the London Hilton before joining the Grand Hyatt Shanghai in 2005 as assistant director (F&B)

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The Claridges Hotels & Resorts

Peter Leitgeb has joined The Claridges Hotels & Resorts as president and CEO. He will oversee the expansion plans of The Claridges Hotels & Resorts in key cities and resort destinations in India. He would also focus on repositioning The Claridges, New Delhi as a premium boutique hotel in the country. Leitgeb, a 30 year veteran is one of the few industry professionals with senior management experience in India and overseas. Prior to this appointment he was president of The Leela Palaces and Resorts, associated with Kempinski Hotels

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Jaypee Palace Hotel and Convention Centre, Agra

Rajiv Narain has joined Jaypee Hotels as vice president (operations). He will be responsible for looking after the 350 room Jaypee Palace Hotel and Convention Centre at Agra. Narain has had a long and distinguished career with Taj, starting with Taj Mahal Delhi and worked up to GM at Taj View Agra, Taj Coromandel, Chennai, and Taj Deccan at Hyderabad. He was also the Area General Manager for all the Taj Southern properties

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InterContinental Eros, Delhi

Stephen R Magor has been appointed general manager, Intercontinental Eros, New Delhi. Prior to this appointment he was general manager Laguna Beach Resort Phuket, Thailand With a career which began in the kitchen, Magor has an experience of 34 years earned in countries like UK, Germany, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Australia, China, Singapore, Thailand and India. In India he was associated with The Hyatt, The Oberoi and The Taj Mahal in New Delhi

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source: Express Hospitality

Mumbai tops Asia-Pacific in hotel room rate

Mumbai, the financial hub of India tops the list of cities with the highest room rate in Asia-Pacific. An Asia Pac survey by Deloitte shows that average room rates in Mumbai stood at $253 for the first six months of 2007, followed by Singapore at $160 and Phuket at $149.

While demand for rooms have risen sharply in metro cities in the country, the supply has only marginally increased in these cities. This has led to a sharp upswing in room rates in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. This shortage of room supply will continue for the next 3-4 years and the metro cities will see a 30-35% increase in average rate in the current fiscal, according to industry estimates.

“The room rate escalation in Mumbai is a manifestation of the overall growth in the economy and the acute shortage of rooms,” said Saurabh Gupta, senior associate with HVS Executive Search. With Mumbai having a higher base room rate compared to other markets across the country, it will see 20-30% increase in room rates for the next few years, industry sources said.

Mumbai needs 9,000 to 10,000 rooms and this is expected to enter the market over the next five years. “Rising land costs in south and north Mumbai have slowed down hotel development in the city. This has led to shortage of rooms in the city with hotels reducing discounts on room rates (rack) over the last few months,” said Lemon Tree Hotels CMD Patu Keswani.

In fact, premium hotels in the city, have reduced their dependence on airline crews too, due to the shortage in room supply, Mr Keswani said. Low-cost airlines and inflow of business and leisure travellers are expected to drive significant demand for hotel accommodation in Mumbai, industry sources said.

Industry sources indicate that while metro cities across the country will see average room rates going up for the next five years, tier II cities like Gurgaon, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai will see occupancy and room rates going down.

“These cities are seeing an excess of room supply coming in with land prices at somewhat realistic levels here. Most of the hotel companies have announced their expansion plans here,” said a Mumbai-based hotelier.

Meanwhile, Asia-Pacific continues to be the world’s second most-widely travelled regions after Europe. Despite travel warnings, the growth of low-cost airlines has made leisure destinations like Bali, Phuket among other Asia-Pacific regions more accessible pushing room rates upwards.


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2 realty cos plan 5-star hotel in Uttarakhand

Realty companies Assotech Ltd and Supertech Ltd have said that they would develop a Rs 150-crore five-star hotel at Rudrapur, Uttarakhand, and that the Radisson Hotel Metropolis under the US-based Carlson Group of hotels, would manage it.

The developers are to design, furnish and equip the 120-room facility, which is slated for completion in June 2009. Sanjeev Srivastva, Managing Director, Assotech Ltd, said the property with conference/banquet hall was part of an integrated facility comprising retail and entertainment space spread across 4.7 acres.

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Investments in Rudrapur have reached $2 billion and that many industry majors such as Bajaj, Tata Motors, HCL, Dabur and Ashok Leyland have set up plants there.

K.B. Kachru, Executive Vice-President - South Asia, Carlson Hotels Asia-Pacific, said Rudrapur was proving to be a promising industrial destination.

The trend is clearly indicating Rudrapur to be the most sought-after Tier-II city in future. “The hotel will be a part of the metropolis city project that we are currently working on at Rudrapur,” said R.K. Arora, CMD, Supertech.