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No partner: ITDC stuck on Zambia

business Updated: May 14, 2009 22:36 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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State-run Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) is stuck in its ambitious plan to build two hotel projects in Zambia offered by that country’s government, as it has not been able to find a partner following the economic slump which has eroded investor sentiment.

Each of the project, matching ITDC’s flagship property, the Ashok in Delhi, would need Rs 1,000 crore.

“We are very keen to go ahead with the project but the problem is about finding a suitable partner who is keen to invest in the hotel project.We would provide our expertise and run the hotel but will not invest,” a senior ITDC official who asked not to be identified told Hindustan Times.

The projects were conceived after the then Zambian vice-president Rupia Banda stayed at the Ashok last year. In the elections that followed the death of the president, Banda became the head of state, opening up an African vista for ITDC.

He offered two plots one in the capital city of Lusaka and another at Livingstone, the tourism capital that forms a gateway to the Victoria Falls.

ITDC, the official said, was in talks with several industrial houses that already have a presence in Zambia, but the slowdown had dampened sentiments.

“We would prefer to work alongside a Indian company rather then look for a global partner,” the official said.