Budget hotels are set to claim a larger share of the Indian hospitality sector pie. Around 2,500 rooms in the price range of Rs 1,200-2,500 per room will open up in the country in the next two years with the railways having finalised bids for 17 locations (out of 20) across India.

Leading hotel group like the Delhi-based Zoom Developers-Royal Orchid Consortium will build hotels at eight locations (Darjeeling, New Jalpaiguri, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bikaner, Tirupati, Chandigarh and Nagpur); while Mumbai’s G L Hotels and Pan India Paryatan would be involved in constructing hotels in 5 locations (Mumbai, Vijaywada, Secunderabad, Sealdah and Madurai) and Signet Hotels-Californiabased Cabana Consortium would take up the assignment in 4 locations (Rameswaram, Ooty, Kanyakumari and Jaisalmer).

“We got the land at the right price. We will build budget hotels as part of our expansion plans for the next 2 years,” said Royal Orchid CMD Chender Baljee.

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation has awarded land to private real estate and hotel players to develop hotels in 17 places on a `build, operate and transfer’ (BOT) basis and renovate Rail Yatri Niwas located at four places. In the first phase only 20 locations are open, the second phase would see another 80 locations, say officials. The private players constructing budget hotels are being given on a 30-year lease period and the 4 Rail Yatri Niwas buildings are being given for 15 years, said a Zoom official. The hotels would be operational in the next two years and the hotel companies would invest about Rs 15-20 crore to spruce up the place, say railway officials. The Rail Yatri Niwas in New Delhi is being renovated by the Taj Group with an investment of about Rs 8 crore and Yatri Niwas at Ranchi and Puri have been awarded to Chanakya Hotel Group and Meghalaya Hotel respectively.
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