iconimg Monday, August 31, 2015

Vivek Sinha, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 22, 2011
Canadian hospitality major Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is eyeing rapid expansion of hotel properties under its ambit in India. The company is looking at having its brand of 5-star hotels in Mumbai, Bangalore, NCR (national capital region), Goa, Rajasthan (Jaipur and other cities), Kerala and Agra over the next 3 years. The company has already forayed in the Mumbai and Bangalore markets and recently signed a contract for a luxury hotel in the NCR.

"India is important for our overall growth strategy and in the long term we plan to be present across all key destinations in the country," Christopher Wong, senior vice president, Asia Pacific ,Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts told Hindustan Times.

Wong said that over the next three years the company would have several hotels under its ambit.

The company itself does not develop or own hotel properties,  rather manages, operates and lends its brand name to hotels owned by other developers. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts currently operates 85 luxury hotels across the world.

Wong said that the company recently tied up with the Delhi-based developer The 3C Company wherein The 3C would develop a luxury hotel ‘Delhi One’ in Noida. The total investment for this project is  around Rs. 2,000 crore, of which Rs. 600 crore is the land cost.

"The required investments would be funded through a mix of equity, debt and internal accruals," said Vidur Bhardwaj, director, The 3C Company. Bhardwaj said that the company has tied up with PE funds for the equity component of the investments. "We already own the land for the project," said Bhardwaj.

Wong said that Four Seasons has no plans to get into the budget hotel category.

In fact, the global hospitality chains have come to recognise the potential of hospitality business in India. Consider this: There are around 1,00,000 rooms across India in all categories. This fades in comparison to cities such as Dubai, Bangkok and Las Vegas where each city has close to this number of rooms.

With the number of tourists doubling over the next few years in India there is expected to be an acute shortage of rooms marking a good business potential in the country’s hospitality business.