To tap the growing hospitality business in India, the Hilton Worldwide is planning to develop 19 hotels in the next five years, of which six will begin operations in 2011, a top company executive has said.
"We are currently looking at 19 hotels in India that are in various stages of development and spread across the country in a mix of tier I, II and III cities," Hilton Worldwide President, Asia-Pacific, Martin Rinck told PTI.
These will have approximately 3,000 rooms covering the luxury, full-and focused-service offerings in the next 4-5 years, he said.
The US-based Group is expecting to launch operations of six properties during 2011, with around 1,000 rooms, Rinck said. "Our new openings consist of four Hilton hotels, one Doubletree by Hilton, one Hilton Garden Inn and one Hampton by Hilton. This effectively means that we will more than double our trading estate during this calendar year."
At present, Hilton Worldwide manages three properties in India – Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton New Delhi and the newly added Hilton Mumbai International Airport.
He said India's growing hospitality sector provides huge opportunity and there is still tremendous room for the entry of new brands to penetrate and grow exponentially in one of the world's fastest-growing major economies.
Asked about investment involved for developing these properties, Rinck said the company's expansion strategy is primarily through management contracts.
"That does not mean we will not consider a strategic investment opportunity in a gateway city for one of our core brands. However for now, our priority is to grow through management contracts," Rinck added.
Talking about global expansion, he said the Hilton Worldwide plans to add more than 130,000 rooms.
In Asia Pacific, the company is bullish on opportunities in India and China.
"China is our top international development market followed by India. The Hilton brand has had a presence in Shanghai and Beijing for many years and we now have 17 trading hotels under four brands, with more than 60 properties in the pipeline," he said.