Seven Indian hotels to join Starwood’s Luxury Collection
Gurgaon, Haryana, June 2, 2010 /India PRwire/ — Targeting high-end travellers, ITC-Welcomgroup on Thursday signed an exclusive agreement with Starwood Hotels & Resorts to bring the latter’s premium brand, the `Luxury Collection,’ to India.
Under the new franchise agreement, the seven hotels that will be part of the new brand, ITC-Luxury Collection, are: ITC Maurya in Delhi, ITC Maratha in Mumbai, ITC Sonar in Kolkata, ITC Grand Central in Mumbai, ITC Windsor in Bangalore, ITC Kakatiya in Hyderabad and ITC Mughal in Agra.
The seven hotels will now join the list of 58 exclusive properties in 25 countries that are part of Starwood’s `Luxury Collection.’ Under the new arrangement, the seven ITC Hotels will be owned and managed by ITC, while its marketing and distribution abroad will be done exclusively by Starwood Hotels & Resorts that has over 850 properties across the world.
The agreement includes re-branding of WelcomHotel New Delhi as a Sheraton, also a part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, while the Chola and the Park in Chennai, and the Rajputana in Jaipur will continue as per the ITC’s previous arrangement with Sheraton Hotels.
Speaking to the media here after signing the agreement, ITC Chairman Y. C. Deveshwar said: “A three-decade-old relationship has been strengthened and enriched in a new partnership. The ITC-Luxury Collection exclusive arrangement recognises ITC’s leadership in the premium hotel segment and places it among the finest hotel chains in the world.”
According to Miguel Ko, Asia Pacific President of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, visitor spending in India has grown at a phenomenal rate in the last few years, and this growth is expected to accelerate significantly over the next few years.
“We are thrilled to introduce the Luxury Collection brand to India and expand the footprint of the Sheraton brand in India,” he said, adding that “The introduction of the Luxury Collection will offer savvy travellers unique experiences that reflect the true essence of the destinations. The seven new Luxury Collection hotels will be a great complement to our impressive portfolio of properties globally.”
Speaking about the ITC-Welcomgroup’s future plans, Mr. Deveshwar said the company would be investing Rs. 500 crore in the next five years, developing new properties and upgrading and expanding the existing ones. “We will be adding over a dozen new properties in smaller cities and towns to our low-cost chain of hotels being run under the brand name Fortune,” he added.
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