Kempinski plans three new hotels in India

Navadha Pandey New Delhi | Updated on May 22, 2014 Published on May 22, 2014

3 new properties to come up by 2020

nternational hotel chain Kempinski on Thursday announced plans to develop three more properties in India.

“We are looking at properties in Mumbai, Kolkata and Kerala. In Kerala, we plan to have a resort in either Kovalam or the backwaters, but we are still in talks,” Duncan O’Rourke, Chief Operating Officer, Kempinski Hotels, told Business Line.

The group currently has one hotel in India, a 480-room property in New Delhi — Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi. Globally, Kempinski has over 70 hotels in operation and plans to open 112 hotels by 2017.

Why India

On the importance of the Indian market, O’Rourke said: “We plan to expand in India and believe that the country’s fundamentals offer strong growth opportunity. India, historically, has not had an influx of high-end international chains but they are starting to come. India is an extremely important market, it is a tremendous growing economy.”

The country has been witnessing rising real estate prices. Ulrich Eckhardt, Managing Director and President, India, Middle East & Africa, Kempinski Hotel, said: “The prices are very high especially in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai. The average cost of room thus spirals out of proportion to $500,000-$600,000 at least. In Mumbai, it can go up to $800,000 a room. Also, the luxury tax hinders hotel companies to do more.”

On expanding into tier-II, III towns, he said: “We could see that possibility but the first stage of the strategy is to get hotels in key cities so that we become market leaders.”

Kempinski had in the past a partnership with Leela Hotels in India but parted ways.

O'Rourke said: “The contract came to an end and this country is so important to us that we wanted to go solo. We felt ready to do it alone."

Published on May 22, 2014
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