Holiday Inn Express yesterday launched its first property in India. A joint venture (JV) partnership between Duet India Hotels (DIH) and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Duet Smart Hotels India plans to develop another 19 properties in the country under the same brand, with an investment of Rs 1,250 crore. DIH holds 76 per cent stake in the JV, while IHG owns 24 per cent equity stake. The 173-room property in the central business district of Ahmedabad has been developed keeping in mind the growing demand for mid-market hotel rooms amongst business travellers. While one hotel under the brand is being built in Hyderabad, two hotels each are being built in Chennai and Mumbai. DIH plan to develop 4,000 hotel rooms in India over the next three to five years. Speaking to Hospitality Biz, Naveen Jain, President, Duet India Hotels, said, "By 2020,
India would need around 360,000 hotel rooms, and with the current inventory of 163,000 hotel rooms, there is a gap of around 180,000 rooms that offers huge business opportunities for mid-market hotels. Also, the business traveller segment has been clocking a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of around 13 per cent, which is the segment we are eyeing.” “We expect to touch the 150-hotels mark by 2020. Nearly 80 per cent of our upcoming hotels will be under the brands Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express,” said Douglas Martell, Vice President - Operations, South West Asia, InterContinental Hotels Group. Holiday Inn Express plans to woo travellers as ‘the smart choice for savvy travellers’ at an affordable price. Martell added that mid-scale hotels currently represent only 15 per cent of all hotel rooms in the country, which means there is huge potential for growth in the segment. “With the country having a huge domestic traveller segment, Indians have a growing appetite for mid-market hotels,” he said. IHG is also set to launch the 270-room Crowne Plaza Hotel in the coming months in the western region of India.