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Thursday, Feb 19, 2004

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The Park proposes two more hotels

Our Bureau

Bangalore , Feb. 18

THE Park Hotels, a member of the Apeejay Surendra group, plans to open two more units, one each in Mumbai and Hyderabad.

It plans to develop a 200-room hotel in Mumbai at an estimated cost of Rs 100 crore. It is yet to freeze on a location.

The strong Park brand underlined by its `boutique character' would become the company's marketing strategy of unique selling proposition for the proposed new properties, said Mr Lemuel Herbert, General Manger of The Park, Bangalore.

Though The Park launched its boutique concept early in its other properties, Bangalore property (acquired in 2000) became the first contemporary boutique hotel "with its small, luxurious, intimate and unusual and distinctive design elements," he said. Chennai followed suit.

Hospitality industry in Bangalore, which is fast becoming an irrepressible destination to both business and leisure tourists, has witnessed a remarkable recovery since September last.

Many luxury hotels enjoy an unprecedented average occupancy of over 80 per cent, with no let up in the trend so far.

Though Bangalore's reputation as one of the top global techno-cities helped the hospitality industry, the growing air connectivity and rationalisation in luxury/expenditure taxes by the Government also contributed to the steady growth in business by 10 to 15 per cent.

If this trend continued, the city might require an additional inventory of about 1,000 rooms to its existing 1,400 in the luxury hotels category, Mr Herbert said.

He told Business Line that the luxury hotels were now able to realise the rack rate (printed tariff) for their rooms against the "discount syndrome" witnessed two years ago.

The industry expects a much higher turnover this year, with The Park alone hoping to see 35 per cent increase in revenue from room tariff and food and beverages sales.

Mr Herbert said though no decision had been taken yet, a revision in room tariff was being contemplated.

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