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ITC to add 5,000 rooms in next 3-5 years

Dipak_Haksar_3222090fDiversified conglomerate ITC Ltd plans to add 5,000 rooms across new hotels over the next 3-5 years. This would include the setting up of its first overseas property at Colombo in Sri Lanka.

According to Dipak Haksar, Chief Executive, ITC Hotels & WelcomHotels, the company will have a mix of both company-owned and managed properties (hotels) as part of its strategy to strengthen the hospitality business. At present, ITC Ltd owns and manages 100-odd hotels, across 70 locations, with over 9,000 keys across its four brands.

These include ITC Hotels in the super premium luxury segment; WelcomHotels for business and leisure travellers; Fortune Hotels in the mid-market to upscale properties; and WelcomHeritage through which it runs a chain of palaces, forts, havellis and heritage resorts.

“We will be adding 5,000-odd rooms in the next 3-5 years across all the four brands,” Haksar told BusinessLine on the sidelines of a tourism summit, Destination East, organised by the CII.

For the first half of the fiscal (till September 2017), the country’s second largest hotel chain reported a revenue of ₹605 crore, while the profit before tax stood at ₹10 crore.

OVERSEAS DEBUT

Among the major launches scheduled is ITC’s first overseas venture in Sri Lanka. The Colombo property, with 300-keys, is expected to be operational in 2020.

“It will be a mixed-use project with both hotel and residential offerings,” the CEO said.

He, however, did not give an investment estimate for the project.

Market sources point out that nearly ₹1-1.5 crore is spent in developing each room. Investments in Sri Lanka could be higher.

OTHER PROJECTS

According to Haksar, ITC hotels at Hyderabad, Kolkata and Ahmedabad properties are expected to become operational shortly.

While the ITC Kohinoor at Hyderabad will be operational later this year, around April, the company’s second property at Kolkata, the 500-keys ITC Royal Bengal, will be operational in 2019. In 2020 it will make operational the 300-key Ahmedabad property.

Bullish about tourism potential in West Bengal, the company has committed to manage a hotel at Andal (190 kms from the city) in Durgapur through the Fortune brand.

This apart, the group will also look at expanding the Welcom brands in smaller cities such as Amritsar (Punjab), Mussorie (Uttarakhand), Chail (Himachal Pradesh), Guntur (Andhra Pradesh) and Bhubaneswar (Odisha).

“We have five Welcom hotels in the pipeline and are looking at more,” he said.

The Hindu

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