Apr 7, 2010

Hyatt, Starwood eye Indian hotel market

Hyatt Hotels Corp and Starwood Hotels & Resorts both unveiled hotel development plans for the Indian market on Tuesday, describing the country as one with rich potential for growth.

Hyatt, which already has five hotels in India, will open three new hotels this year: Hyatt Regency Pune, Hyatt Regency Chennai and Grand Hyatt Goa.

The Chicago-based company said about one-fourth of Hyatt's global pipeline of more than 120 properties is earmarked for India.

"We believe India represents one of the greatest hotel markets over the next decade -- one that will play a key role in driving Hyatt's long-term growth," Hyatt Chief Executive Mark Hoplamazian said in a statement.

Major hotel companies have looked outside the United States to recharge their growth as the U.S. lodging market recovers from possibly its worst downturn since the Great Depression.

China has been a strong spot for many hotel companies, but they also have their eyes trained on India, where potential demand for hotel rooms far outstrips available supply.

According to Smith Travel Research, there are 108,458 hotels in India, with fewer rooms than the city of Orlando, Florida, which has 118,649 hotel rooms.

In an statement, Starwood, which has 26 hotels in India, said it expects the rise of India's middle class and the influx of outsourcing contracts, including Starwood's, to spur travel within and to India.

Starwood is aiming to expand its portfolio in India by 60 percent by 2013. It has 15 hotels under development, three of which are slated to open this year.

"Inviting comparisons between India and China can be dangerous, but we do see some commonalities," Starwood Chief Executive Frits van Paasschen said in a statement.

Hyatt Hotels,
Starwood Hotels & Resorts,
"All signs and trends we're seeing show us that India in the next 10 years is where you want to be."


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