Berggruen Hotels looks at Morocco for expansion

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New Delhi, Sept 10 (UNI) Mumbai-based hospitality major Berggruen Hotels today said it will invest 50 million dollars over the next three years for setting up three and four-star hotels in Morroco.

The Group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Laraki Group company Filacom Ltd as part of its expansion plan in Morocco and the entire West Asia and North Africa region, a company statement said.

''Morocco is a strong market and its strategic proximity to Europe gives the business long term sustenance power,'' Berggruen Hotels Managing Director Sanjay Sethi said adding that the Group is looking at tapping 10 million tourists expected to visit Morocco by 2010.

''There is a shortage of branded budget hotels in Morocco while the country is growing at a rate of six to seven per cent annually,'' Filacom Head Mehdi Laraki said.

Under the agreement, Berggruen is looking at building and operating hotels in the three and four star segments.

The Group would develop 100 rooms each in major Morroccan cities, including Casablanca, Rabat, Fez, Agadir, Mekens and Mohammedia.

''They would be primarily greenfield projects but the company is also open to acquiring existing hotels and entering into management contracts,'' Mr Sethi said.

Currently, it also operates a range of budget hotels called the 'Keys' brand in India.

UNI SR AK AS2041

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