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Showing posts from September 30, 2007

ITC to Expand Fortune Chain to 100 Hotels

ITC Ltd., the Indian partner of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., plans to expand its brand of cheaper lodgings to 100 to tap demand in smaller towns.

``The rural market is today the buzzword,'' Nakul Anand, chief executive of the hotel division, said in an interview. ``Companies are going to send people who will require accommodation. This business is going to grow.''

ITC, through its unit Fortune Park Hotels Ltd., will cater to executives selling mobile phones, toothpaste and financial services to the three-quarters of India's 1.1 billion people who live in rural areas.

``The India growth story is percolating down to the smaller towns,'' said Sudhir Nair, head of research at Crisil Ltd., the Indian unit of Standard & Poor's. ``If you look at the profile of the people traveling and give them a value proposition, it is a good business model.''

Spending in towns in villages is forecast to rise 60 percent to $18 billion in five years, …

Choice Hotels plans expansion

Choice Hotels India (CHI) plans to have around 80 hotels in the country in the next three years.

While the company, a part of Choice Hotels International, has 30 hotels operating at present under its three brands— Comfort Inn, Clarion and Quality Inn— it will expand its portfolio by adding another 50 hotels under these brands.

It has also got into a contract with The Royal Indian Raj International Corporation to build over 30 hotels in the next three years. RIRIC has pledged around Rs 17,000 crore to build over 100 hotels in the next seven years in India.

In the first phase of development, RIRIC will make the necessary investments for construction of 30 hotels. Choice Hotels will manage these hotels. While CHI will hold 30 per cent of the share in the hotel properties, the remaining will be shared by RIRIC.

“We are bullish on the south and western markets. We have a presence in key metros and we also plan to take our hotels to all possible destinations,” said Reyaz Mama, director, CHI.

The…

Muthoot Group to construct five-star hotel at Kochi

Kerala-based Muthoot Group proposes to set up a Rs 150 crore five-star hotel in Kochi, Kerala's commercial hub.

The construction work for the hotel, that will have 300- plus rooms, will begin next year, group's Managing Director George Alexander Muthoot told reporters here on Friday night.

The Muthoot group was one among the few to identify the vast potential offered by the hospitality and tourism industry of Kerala, he said. Muthoot Cardamom County, a four star classified resort, in Thekkady is a well-known tourism spot in the state.

The Group, which has launched a new company called Muthoot Wealth Management Services Pvt Ltd, would have 50 independent offices by the end of this fiscal. Already 25 offices have been opened.

It would be catering to investors by giving advice on sectors such as life insurance, non life insurance, Mutual Funds, share trading and gold investment. It has tie-up with several insurance companies, Mutual Funds and share trading companies.

The Rs 7000-crore…