Fortune Hotels, a member of ITC’s hotel group, plans to add 15 new properties with 1,500 rooms in the next two-and-a-half years to its portfolio as part of its expansion across India, according to company Managing Director Samir MC.
The hospitality firm, which currently has 42 properties with a room inventory of around 3,200, is looking to cater to strong domestic demand in smaller cities and also from pilgrimage tourism.
“In a country like ours, we are very high on domestic travel, and that will just continue increasing at a higher rate than what the inbound would increase. So, definitely for a chain like ours, that’s a key factor that defines our growth strategy,” Samir told PTI.
Hence, he said, “We look at growing into various parts of the country, whether it’s Tier one, Tier two, Tier three.”
Given the fact Fortune Park Hotels is a “hardcore Indian company”, Samir said it understands the Indian consumers, their expectations and the behaviors very well, besides the cultural elements across different parts of the country.
“So, that has helped us also get into many of the tier three locations, which typically we might be the first brand to get into that location. We are soon going to open a few hotels around the country in some very varied locations,” he added.
In the near future, the company expects new hotels located at Kalimpong, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar, Tirupur and Goa to come up.
“So these four-five hotels will be the next to open, out of the 15-odd properties, we have in our pipeline over the next two-and-a-half years,” Samir said, adding these new hotels will add around 1,200 rooms.
On the recovery from the impact of the pandemic, he said last year also it was the domestic travel, which was key as it was very strong and specially travels into Tier II and III cities were extremely good.
“The other very interesting aspect we are seeing is that there is a good growth in the pilgrimage tourism as well,” Samir said, adding there is definitely some focus on the pilgrimage tourism bit as well.
The company already has a presence in pilgrimage tourism with properties at Tirupati, Madurai and the recently opened one at Katra, with an upcoming one in Amritsar, which is very close to the Golden Temple, he added.
“We are also looking at some future locations like Shirdi, Ajmer as well as some of the Jyotirlinga locations like Deoghar,” he said.
On the overall business performance this fiscal, Samir said it has been a great year and the company has exceeded the pre-pandemic numbers in occupancy and the revenue per available room is higher than it was in 2019-20.