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Hyatt plans 15 new hotels in India

By Prabodh Chandrasekhar in Mumbai
September 01, 2005 12:52 IST
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The US-based Hyatt International Hotels and Resorts is on an expansion spree in India.

The hotel chain has got plans to add another 15 five-star and deluxe hotels and resorts in the country over the next three to four years, said Ratnesh Verma, area director, South Asia, Hyatt.

Hyatt will set up two hotels each in Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Chennai. It will also expand in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh and Gurgaon.

The group is eyeing states such as Kerala and Goa and cities such as Jaipur and Agra for its resorts.

"Hyatt manages five hotels in India. By 2009, we would like to expand to 20 hotels and resorts in the country. The properties are mostly managed by us and owned by their developers. However on a case-to-case basis, our parent Hyatt might consider owning some. Managing hotels is not a capital intensive activity, though our parent would invest in as and when required," said Verma.

Hyatt currently manages Grand Hyatt in Mumbai, Hyatt Regency in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Pune (under development), and Park Hyatt Goa Resorts and Spa.

Grand Hyatt Mumbai is the only property in India in which Hyatt owns 50 per cent equity. The balance is owned by the promoter, Juniper group of hotels.

"Our business model and core competency is managing the hotels. We are not into real estate business and that is why owning our hotels would not be a focus area," he said. Regency is a five-star brand, Grand, a five star deluxe, and Park Hyatt is a boutique luxury brand, said Verma.

Hyatt is planning to make inroads into Pakistan. It will set up three five star hotels in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.

The company will also come up with Hyatt Regency in Colombo, Sri Lanka by 2007. It manages Hyatt Regency in Kathmandu.

Hyatt group of hotels is the first and probably the only group that had adopted the single currency single pricing route in January 2005, long before the Reserve Bank of India had warned Indian hospitality industry against insisting dollar currency mode of payment from foreigners and non resident Indians, said Verma.

The past 12 months have been particularly good for Hyatt, when the group enjoyed a growth of 15-18 per cent in occupancy and an average room rate of about Rs 5,500 at its hotels and resorts in India.

"The tourism industry has been buoyant for the past couple of years. The five star hotel industry is expected to grow at about 15 per cent over the next three years," said Verma.

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Prabodh Chandrasekhar in Mumbai
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