Is there growth in Bengal, wonders Oberoi Group

Written by: IANS
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Kolkata, Aug 7: Wondering if there is growth in West Bengal, hospitality major EIH Ltd Wednesday said it is not looking to revive its long-closed hotel in Darjeeling in the near future.

EIH runs the Oberoi and Trident brands of hotels.

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Addressing media persons after the company's 64th Annual General Meeting here, company vice chairman and chief executive officer SS Mukherjee said there were no immediate plans to invest in the state.

"Do you see any growth in West Bengal? Whatever growth is there, the existing players are there to take care. So we don't think there is any need to invest here now and get into cannibalism," Mukherjee said to queries about the plans to revive the Oberoi Mount Everest that was ravaged in a fire in 1984.

"We deal with the luxury segment and right now we don't think there is viability for investment. But if and when we feel the need, we will surely invest here," added Mukherjee.

Incidentally Mukherjee in 2012 had said the company was looking to revive the hotel that was started in 1914 as "The Darjeeling Family Hotel" before it was leased to the Oberoi Group in 1950 for 100 years.

Praising the central government for its initiative to introduce Electronic Travel Authorisation (e-visa), Executive Chairman P R S Oberoi said the Narendra Modi-led government has brought renewed confidence regarding the revival of the economy, particularly the tourism and hospitality sectors.

"I am exuding confidence about the new regime because it has asserted of taking up the tourism and hospitality sectors as the key areas of its focus. No previous government has said this, so we are very hopeful," said Oberoi.

Oberoi said there was an immediate need to revive government regulations for better marketing of the country's largely untapped heritage assets, including Buddhist sites.

Lamenting India's negative tourist inflow, Oberoi said "unreasonable" regulations and poor tourism infrastructure have lead to the country's beach and island destinations as well as heritage sites largely remaining untapped.


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