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Oberoi to expand in SA, West Asia

April 11, 2006 15:23 IST

East India Hotels, which runs the Oberoi chain of hotels, will open new hotels in South Africa, West Asia and Seychelles in the next three to four years.

The hospitality major will focus on expansion through management contracts in these countries, said Arjun Oberoi, deputy managing director, East India Hotels.

Like the Taj group, EIH too planned to venture into managing luxury apartments, he said.

"South Africa and West Asia are markets of immediate interest for us. We would like to manage hotels in adventure tourism destinations like the game reserves of South Africa. Tourism was given less importance in the West Asia till a few years ago. However, now the situation has reversed and we see the region as a lucrative market for expansion," said Oberoi.

Seychelles, South Asia and South East Asia are the other focus markets for the group, he said.

Globally, EIH manages properties in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Australia, Mauritius and Sri Lanka. In India, the group manages hotels in more than 10 locations.

"We are more interested in managing properties, a faster and safer route for expansion than ownership," he said.

EIH is equally keen to expand in domestic metros like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad with 250-300 room hotels by 2010.

Oberoi is coming up with a business hotel at Mumbai's leading business district Bandra-Kurla Complex.

This will be its second hotel in Mumbai after Hilton Towers. It is also plans a third hotel in Mumbai.

In 2003, the group had a strategic alliance with Hilton International for co-branding of hotels. Accordingly, Oberoi Towers in Mumbai was rebranded as Hilton Towers and Trident Hotels In Agra, Bhubhaneshwar, Chennai, Cochin, Jaipur and Udaipur have been renamed as Trident Hilton.

The group has no plans of entering the budget hotel segment. "Our interest lies purely in luxury and five star hotels and apartments," said Oberoi.

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Prabodh Chandrasekhar in Mumbai