ITC set to roll out more hotels

ITC is ramping up its hospitality business with new hotels in Chennai and Kolkata. The tobacco-to-snacks major will build a 1.2 million sq ft hotel in Kolkata at an estimated Rs 860 crore and has already started work on the 600-room property ‘Grand Chola’ in Chennai. Besides, ITC has bought land to build hotels in Ahmedabad and Hyderabad and will construct another just outside Delhi, chairman Y C Deveshwar said on the sidelines of the company’s e-choupal launch at Sivaganga.“We invested Rs 4,000 crore in our hotels business in the last two years. We would invest more this year and next year,’’ he said. ITC is investing not just in hotels but in several other assets and is open to joint investments in the space, he stated. ITC, which has a tie-up with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, will run the operations in several of the new hotels. The Chennai hotel, coming on the ‘Campa Cola’ property in Guindy with an estimated investment of Rs 1,200 crore, is expected to be completed by 2010. ITC’s second hotel in Bangalore will be ready in 2009. Though, the company had bought land to build a deluxe hotel in Hyderabad, it will require Supreme Court clearance, Deveshwar said. The company has over 75 hotels in India with about 5,500 rooms. Revenues from the hotel business went up 18% to Rs 239 crore in an otherwise unimpressive first quarter.

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