Noted Indian American hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal plans to set up 50 new hotels in India in five years as part of a major expansion into South Asia in partnership with Wyndham Hotel Group.
"India has just 100,000 hotel rooms at present. It can easily seek 100,000 more," said Chatwal at a media event on Wednesday noting that there was potential for at least another 100 hotels.
The hotelier whose New York headquartered Chatwal Hotels & Resorts currently runs two hotels in India has already tied up nine sites for the planned India expansion starting with a 200 room hotel in Jaipur.
There are lots of tourist spots in India like Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur and Varanasi but lack of quality hotels prevented realisation of their full potential, Chatwal said.
Poor infrastructure, high cost of land and the need to get 120 odd clearances also made India operations a tough thing to do, he said. However, things are now changing in India, he said.
Chatwal Hotels has entered into an agreement with Wyndham Hotel Group, which runs 7200 hotels in 67 countries around the world, giving them exclusive rights to franchise and manage its Dream(r) and Night(r) boutique hotel brands globally.
Dream and Night hotels currently are open in New York; Bangkok, Thailand; and Kochi in India. Chatwal Hotels & Resorts will continue to own the Dream and Night brand trademarks and intellectual property.
"The addition of the Dream and Night brands will complement Wyndham Hotel Group's diverse brand portfolio which focuses on meeting guest needs with a hotel product for every kind of traveller," said Eric Danziger, Wyndham Hotel Group president and chief executive officer.
"These design driven, destination-within-a-destination brands are favoured by travellers who crave an avant-garde yet cosmopolitan experience," he said.
"We are especially proud to work with Sant Singh Chatwal, an innovative hotelier and entrepreneur, to expand and evolve these brands in key business and leisure markets around the globe," Danziger said.
Wyndham, which at present runs just 27 hotels in India under various brands as against 400 in China sees a big potential in India.
"Our job is to see the right brand in the right place," said Danziger describing Chatwals as the right people with the right brands to grow in India.
Even as it expands in South Asia, Chatwal group plans to open a Dream hotel in New York's Meatpacking District during the second quarter of this year.
In addition, the 108-room, Art-Deco-inspired Dream South Beach is set to open shortly in Miami Beach, Florida, adjacent to the former Versace Mansion on Collins Avenue.
Chatwal said Wyndham Hotel Group will "take the development of the Dream and Night brands to the next level" by leveraging Wyndham's global distribution system, Wyndham Rewards loyalty programme and extended reach of development professionals.
"The relationship with Wyndham will unlock the true potential of our Dream and Night brands, which have proven their success in key markets like New York and Bangkok during the last six years and are prime to further expand globally," said Chatwal.
The Night brand, which Wyndham plans to develop in primary and secondary markets, will be positioned as an 'affordably chic' hotel option featuring innovative designs and services such as guest deejays in lounges, discounts for green motorists with hybrid and electric cars and gourmet quick-serve food and beverage options.
The Dream brand is positioned as a full-service, lifestyle brand for gateway cities and resort destinations.