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Taj Hotels to ramp up presence in Europe

May 13, 2006 06:24 IST

The Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is embarking on expanding its presence in Europe. The Indian Hotel Group is in talks with various hotel groups in London, Frankfurt and Paris for management arrangement, marketing alliances and acquisitions.

"Being prime cities of western Europe, London, Frankfurt and Paris are of strategic significance to the Taj Group for expansion. If all goes well, Taj should be able to strike a deal in a couple of months," said a Mumbai-based hospitality consultant.

When contacted an official spokesperson of Taj Hotels said the executives of the company were travelling and unavailable for comments.

However, Indian Hotels Company managing director Raymond Bickson had earlier told Business Standard that the group would continuously look for opportunities as part of its international expansion plans, covering the key gateway cities and leisure destinations.

IHC owns the Taj brand. Taj is also in alliance talks with hospitality groups in China and South East Asia, sources said.

IHC was aggressive during the the last 12 months when it announced the acquisition of Sydney-based W Hotel, development plans of three hotels in South Africa, and management of the New York-based Pierre.

During 2005, Indian Hotels had entered into a 30-year management contract to operate and manage Pierre, a luxurious hotel in New York. The hotel was earlier managed by Four Seasons.

The group acquired W Hotel for an estimated sum of Rs 125 crore in December 2005.

In future, the group will invest $ 180 million for setting up three hotels in South Africa of combined room strength 550.

Taj Hotels manages about 60 hotels globally taking the count to 2,282 international rooms in 11 countries outside India and a total of 8,771 rooms at all its properties.

Prabodh Chandrasekhar in Mumbai