Espire Hospitality Group is planning to have 20 operational properties by 2024-25, with a capex of ₹560 crore under its brands - Zana, Country Inn Express and Country Inn Premier, a top company executive said on Saturday.

"Currently, we have 10 hotels in the portfolio under the five star luxury boutique resort brand 'ZANA - a Luxury Escapes' and the four star brand 'Country Inn Hotels and Resorts', with 780 keys. In this financial year, we are adding 200 more keys (3 ZANA resorts) to reach 13 operational hotels with 980 keys," Espire Hospitality Group Chief Executive Officer Akhil Arora told PTI.

The capex, through in-house funding, will also be utilised in phases for renovating, leasing and upgrading the existing hotels, he added.

The hospitality group, Arora said, is exploring both green-field as well as brown-field properties in leisure destinations like Goa, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh.

"We are exploring opportunities in leisure destinations as well as tier I cities for expanding our footprint. We are looking at Goa, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh as well as Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Continuing with our expansion we are opening ZANA resort in Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh near Diwali, in Rishikesh in Uttarakhand in December and Jim Corbett in February 2024," he added.

The company, he said, is also looking at opportunities in pilgrim destinations for expansion of its property portfolio.

"Pilgrim destinations are critical and we are eyeing to enter Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh to begin with," he added.

The homegrown hospitality company currently has 10 operational hotels and under the luxury boutique segment it has ZANA Forest Resort, Ranthambore (opening on Saturday), ZANA Lake Resort, Udaipur in Rajasthan.

In the mid-segment, the company has properties in Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Uttar Pradesh. With the current expansion, the company is expecting to more than double its revenue by 2024-25, Arora said, adding that Espire Hospitality has clocked over ₹30 crore of revenue in FY23.

With the tourism sector booming, he said, the hospitality industry has been witnessing an average 60 per cent occupancy rate, and Espire Hospitality has also been seeing a similar level of occupancy.

"Along with the industry, we are experiencing a 20 per cent increase in occupancy, rates and demand, compared to pre-Covid times.

"This is because travellers have increased their domestic travel share significantly due to the domestic chains offering more personalised, hygienic services and for their increased focus on sustainability. We are at 60 per cent occupancy pan India, across our portfolio. Our immediate focus is to take it up to 70 per cent," Arora added.