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NEWS| WelcomHeritage to expand in Nepal, NE

Hotel major ITC Welcom group is on an expansion spree. The company plans to take its heritage hotel brand – WelcomHeritage – to Nepal and north east.

The group, which has around 53 exclusive heritage properties across India, plans to add around 7 more properties by the year end, taking its count to 60. In the past six years, it has been adding an average of 10 hotel properties to its list every year.

“We are looking at some properties in Nepal. We plan to have strategic alliance at heritage locations and actively pursuing the same. We are also looking at expanding our presence in north east. We want to be present in every nook and corner of the country where there is a good heritage property,” says Rakesh Mathur, president, WelcomHeritage.

While the group is already present in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya, it is looking at properties in Nagaland and plans furthering its presence in Assam at Kaziranaga.

WelcomHeritage considers north east as a lucrative option as this part of the country has remained largely untapped by hoteliers. Besides, tourists also do not have large exposure to this part of the country.

“There is a lot of scope for tourism development in north east and we are looking at tapping the same,” added Mathur. Also, it has recently signed for a property in Kolhapur and will pick up another property in Ooty next month.

Average size of a WelcomHeritage property is 30 rooms. WelcomHeritage supports and assists the restoration of heritage properties and encourages the owners of these properties to convert them into productive assets.

It also assists the owners by providing technical expertise, marketing, sales, reservation and operations support services.

WelcomHeritage is a joint venture between ITC and the Maharaja of Jodhpur, Marudhar Hotels.

It offers various exclusive heritage destinations, ranging from grand palaces to traditional havelis and magnificent forts; from adventure-filled jungle lodges to tea garden homes and quiet nature resorts in various parts of India.

source: Business Standard

JP Distilleries opens 4-star hotel

Bangalore-based J P Distilleries has opened a 130-room four-star hotel in the city. ‘JP Churchill Hotel and Suites’. It is a joint venture with the London-based leisure and hospitality firm Eclipse Hotels. Average room rent is around Rs 4,000 per night, according to a release.

Speaking at the launch, J P Distilleries Director J P Sudhakar told reporters here that the hotel was built at a cost of around Rs 45 crore.

At present, the group owns properties such as Hotel Hari International and Canopy Hotel (in Bangalore) and plans to build one each in Bangalore and Mysore in the next twelve months, he said.

The company has already acquired land for its next Bangalore project, with an estimated expenditure of Rs 70 crore, officials said.

The Eclipse Group, which claims to own assets worth 80-100 million pounds worldwide, will manage the Churchill brand for JP Distilleries, in India.

Eclipse Hotels portfolio consists of 16 hotels, including limited service and five star properties, the release said.

source: Business Standard;