ITC to set up India's largest hotel in Chennai at Rs 1,000 cr

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New Delhi, Dec 2 (UNI) Besides opening three hotels in Bangalore, ITC Ltd Chairman Yogesh Chandra Deveshwar today said the company will set up the country's largest hotel that will spread across eight acres in Chennai at an investment of Rs 1,000 crore by 2010.

''We will set up a 850-room hotel spread across eight acres in Chennai which is expected to be completed by 2010," Mr Deveshwar told reporters on the sidelines of India Economic Summit jointly organised by the World Economic Forum and CII.

He added that the company is also planning to open three hotels in Bangalore.

Kolkota-based ITC Ltd entered the hotels business in 1975 with the acquisition of a hotel in Chennai, which was rechristened Hotel Chola.

Since then the ITC-Welcomgroup brand has over 70 hotels across as many destinations in India. These include super deluxe and five star hotels, heritage palaces, havelis and resorts and full service budget hotels.

India is facing a severe crunch of hotel rooms as most five-star hotels have been booked till March 2008 and many hospitality majors have reported occupancy of over than 90 per cent this year, against 70 to 80 per cent last year.

The move by ITC comes when the hospitality sector is on a boom because of a rise in both Indian and foreign business travellers .

It is estimated that there has been an increase of 25-30 per cent in foreign business travellers in 2007.

There also exist a huge demand and supply mismatch across Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Jaipur which helped the hotels charge higher tariffs across all market segments Mr Deveshwar said the company has already purchased land in Hyderabad and Ahmedabad and would soon roll out hotels in the cities.

He added that the company was looking to grow organically and inorganically but the yardstick for any new business opportunity will be the availability of land at reasonable prices and the feasibility of the businesses.

UNI

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