Kolkata: ACCORHOTELS plans to add close to 550 rooms in eastern India as the company expands its footprint in Guwahati and Kolkata. The expansion is likely to take place over the next three years.
To start with, Novotel, a sub-brand of the company , will debut with its Guwahati property. Targeting a mid-year launch, it is likely to have 122 rooms. This would be followed by IBIS and Formule1 in Kolkata by 2018.
Talking about the eastern India hospitality scenario, Arif Patel, vice-president of sales, marketing, distribution and loyalty at AccorHotels India, said: “The potential in the east India market remained untapped for years and it has just started getting its share of branded hotels. Accor is attempting to give the east an option to choose from a chain of luxuryHOTEL to branded budget rooms.” The company is likely to double its Kolkata portfolio to four hotels.
Accor is likely to launch subbrands IBIS and Formule1 in Kolkata, adding to the 500 rooms in the city from Novotel and Swiss Hotel. The entry of these brands into the eastern market will add another 316 keys to the city. The 129-room Formule1, according to Patel, would be the cording to Patel, would be the first new-generation hotel from the sub-brand in the country.
“Travellers are getting younger and hence new products constantly need to be added to the offerings one has.The new generation Formule1 would be targeting a younger crowd between the 22 years and 35 years age group, and will be having an all new décor as well as food and beverage offerings.Everything will be designed according the tastes and pockets of the age group,” said Patel.
Accor is expecting an 8-10% growth in average room rentals and 4-5% growth in occupancy. The company is bullish on the wedding market.
“There is a lot of demand for high budget weddings in the east and due to lack of branded options a lot of them move abroad to locations like Thailand and Singapore. The city can now get back these businesses lost to such locations for weddings,” said Patel. Another set of customers for the group would be medical tourists, mostly from Bangladesh.
AccorHotels, that has 46HOTELS in India across various categories, is targeting to touch 10,000 keys from its present inventory of 8,000 keys. The group also plans to expand its presence to 25 other cities across India.