The hospitality industry in India has had a tough time over the last one year, but global hospitality majors haven’t given up yet. The Intercontinental Group is all set to embark on its largest expansion drive. The Group has been present in India since 1965 and has till date launched about 60 hotels in the country and is now ready to launch another 45 over the next few years.
Intercontinental has four brands in India- Intercontinental at the luxury end, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express. The bulk of its growth comes from the mainstream mid-market Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express business, informs Richard Solomons, the global CEO of Intercontinental Hotel. He adds that the company has embarked on its largest expansion plan in India, making India the third largest country in terms of pipeline, after US and China. He is a little unhappy with the amount of time it takes to build a hotel here.
“There is a lot of pent-up demand for hotel rooms, there is a lot of demand from owners and all the capital available to build hotels but it takes an awfully long time to build hotel in India relative to many other markets. So, if we can speed that up then that will enable it to become much bigger piece of the pie very quickly.”
Solomons sees India as one of the top 10 growth markets in the next 10 years. He explains over the next 10 years, there will be 10 markets representing about 75 percent of the growth in hospitality and that includes some mature markets like the US and UK or Germany but it also includes a number of fast growing markets and India is one of them.