Taj plans Vivanta hotels in Africa, China, Dubai

January 30th, 2012 - 8:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Jan 30 (IANS) India’s largest hospitality group, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, plans to open its Vivanta brand of hotels in Africa, China and Dubai.

The group, which opened a Vivanta by Taj property in Hyderabad, is looking at opportunities in South Africa and other African countries.

Veer Vijay Singh, chief operating officer, Vivanta by Taj Hotels and Resorts, told IANS that Taj Pamodzy hotel in Zambia may also be converted into Vivanta, an “upper upscale business hotel”.

“We have five such hotels abroad which may get Vivanta brand after they achieve a certain standard in the services,” he said.

Taj already has two Vivanta hotels in Sri Lanka and the Maldives and it plans to increase its footprint abroad.

Taj also plans to open its first hotel in north Africa. The luxury hotel will come up in Morocco.

With the latest property in Hyderabad, Taj has increased the number of Vivanta to 23. The brand, launched in 2010 with 19 hotels, plans to take its total number to 50 in three years. The official said 10 of these hotels would be abroad.

During the 2012-13 financial year, four new Vivanta hotels will come up in north Kerala, Coorg (Karnataka), Gurgaon and Dwarka (Gujarat). It is also looking at other locations including Amritsar, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Puducherry, Nagpur and Udaipur.

Raymond N. Bickson, MD and CEO, Indian Hotels Company Ltd, told a news conference that 23 Vivanta hotels together have 3,500 rooms with occupancy of 67 to 88 percent.

With 181 rooms, Vivanta hotel in Hyderabad has come up at an investment of Rs.150 crore. It is the fifth hotel of Taj in the city and the seventh in Andhra Pradesh.

Bickson said Vivanta brand accounts for one-third of the company’s total revenues. According to him, the hotel on an average takes seven years to achieve break-even.

He said Taj would be opening 17 new hotels during 2012. It plans to open one hotel every three weeks and it covers all its brands - luxury, Vivanta, Gateway and Ginger.

He pointed out that from 62 hotels in 2003, Taj now has 119 hotels. “During the last seven years, we opened one hotel every six weeks,” he said.

Bickson said that except its four hotels in North America, all the hotels abroad were doing well. “Our hotels in London, the Maldives and Australia are doing well,” he said.

G. Indira Krishna Reddy, managing director, Taj GVK Hotels and Resorts Ltd said they planned to develop three hotels in Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. The one planned in Hyderabad will be a Ginger brand.

Taj GVK now has four hotels in Hyderabad, one in Chennai and another in Chandigarh. The property planned in Mumbai will come up near Mumbai Airport, which is being developed by GVK.

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