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The next decade is a time of major expansion in India: Christopher J Nassetta, president and CEO, Hilton

Christopher J Nassetta , president and CEO of Hilton says he expects the next decade to be a time of major expansion in India after China.

In an interview to ET, Nassetta spoke about global developments and their impact on the hospitality industry, digital disruptors like Airbnb and the online travel agents.

Edited excerpts: Please provide some details on the India operations. How is India faring compared to other Asian markets, including China.

 India represents a huge opportunity for Hilton and the hospitality industry as a whole. When I first joined the company 10 years ago, we had no hotels in India. Today we have 15 hotels open and 18 in the pipeline, so we’re making progress but the longer-term potential here is far greater. In the United States, we have 4,000 hotels in a country with a population of 325 million. With a population of 1.3 billion, a rising middle class and a growing economy, my expectation would be that in the years ahead we should have hundreds of hotels here in India.

The hotel market is hugely underserved from a branded perspective and that’s where the opportunity lies. India also has huge outbound potential, and has emerged as the second fastest growing outbound market after China, with the UNWTO predicting outbound travel could grow to 50 million travellers per year by 2020. Our goal is to ensure we provide these travellers with exceptional experiences for any travel need they have. As a reference point, we have nearly 100 hotels open and 230 in the pipeline in China, which is a major increase over the last ten years.

Now I see the next decade as a time of major expansion in India.

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