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Indian Hotels embarks on brand recast

india Updated: Sep 11, 2008 21:31 IST
Lalatendu Mishra
Lalatendu Mishra
Hindustan Times
Indian Hotels Company Ltd

Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL), part of the Tata group, has embarked on a brand restructuring exercise in an attempt to court new customers into its fold.

The company, which runs the Taj Group of hotels, will have offerings in four broad categories, starting from Ginger in the lowest segment to the Taj at the top-end. On Thursday, the company announced its entry into the upscale segment (a tad higher than budget hotels) with a new brand identity called The Gateway Hotels. One more category will be launched shortly. The Taj Residency brand is expected to be discontinued and will be morphed into two new segments, according to company officials.

With several Indian and foreign hotel chains making inroads into the Indian market with mid segment offerings, IHCL does not want to miss out the enormous opportunities and will introduce new brands targeting different segment of travelers.

“We are working on a new architecture. I can’t give more details. We are repositioning some of our properties as per the market needs. We will create a new category in between upscale and (five star) luxury segment,” said Ajoy Misra,
senior vice president, (sales and marketing), IHCL.

To begin with, 16 Gateway hotels have been launched across the country.

The properties have migrated from the Taj Hotel’s existing portfolio and have been re-branded with a complete change in interiors and service. Ten more hotels will be added soon and the company plans to have 50 such hotels in three years.

The hotels will cater to the emerging set of contemporary travelers who have their own independent schedule and also want value for money accommodation and facility for hangout.

Gateway Hotel rooms are priced between Rs 3,000 to Rs 6,000 per day depending on the city they are located as compared to Ginger hotel rooms costing between Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000. Taj Hotel rooms in the luxury category is priced in the range of Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 per day.

The Gateway brand has been with IHCL for over two decades but now it has been brought to the forefront to spearhead the company’s growth in the mid segment. It will compete with brands such as Novotel, Courtyard by Marriott, Renaissance and Loft.