Article from The Economic Times,
dated: 13 August, 2007

Hotel Leelaventure, which is expanding its footprint in India, plans to launch a mid-scale brand. With the planned budget brand, Hotel Leelaventure will join the league of five-star hotels such as the ITC Welcomgroup and The Taj group, which own mid-scale brands Fortune and Ginger, respectively.

“Currently we need to focus on the super-luxury segment. Once we saturate the five-star super luxury segment, we will definitely launch a budget brand immediately,” said Rajiv Kaul, senior vice-president The Leela Palaces & Resorts. The hospitality major is in the process of strengthening its brand in the super-luxury segment with five planned properties.

The expansion plans include sales and marketing offices in Frankfurt and the US. The hospitality major currently operates marketing offices in Dubai and London. Hotel Leelaventure has also signed a general sales agency agreement with a tour operator in Singapore to set up its sales & marketing arm next year.

Hotel Leelaventure has also revised its capex from Rs 1,200 crore announced last year to Rs 2,500 crore for its expansion plans over the next three years. However, this capex does not include the proposed hotels in Jaipur and Kolkata. Hotel Leelaventure recently won the bid by National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) for a three acre plot in South Delhi for Rs 611 crore. It is planning to set up a 225-room hotel in Delhi, which is expected to become operational by 2010.

The expansion plan includes hotels in Gurgaon, Udaipur, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune. Hotels in Gurgaon, Udaipur and Chennai will become operational next year and Hyderabad and Pune hotels will be launched in 2009. The hospitality major is also evaluating a convention centre near the Leela Palace, Kempinski in Bangalore.
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