Taj Group To Invest Rs 30 Cr To Revamp Nepal Property

Mumbai, May 22: | Updated: May 23 2003, 05:30am hrs
As part of the ongoing revamp exercise for its leisure hotels, Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL), which owns the the Taj Group of Hotels, plans to invest around Rs 30 crore for upgrading its Kathmandu property - Hotel De La Annapurna.

According to company sources, We plan to renovate our Kathmandu property re-emphasising on the Taj brand. We will be shortly negotiating with the partner associated with the property and discuss various issues involved with the revamping exercise. We believe that Annapurnas unmatchable location makes it the most convenient base for both leisure and business travellers and with slight renovation and value-addition, we can make it the best hotel in Nepal.

Taj Group owns around 33 per cent in the property, while the remaining is held by the royal family of Nepal. Named after Annapurna, the Goddess of Plenty, the hotel is located close to the Royal Palace in Nepal. Situated on an expanse of 5.53 acres, Hotel de LAnnapurna has 157 rooms including 4 suites.

With the rising international demand for eco-tourism and wilderness experiences, the company has recently made a foray into a completely new business of setting up of wildlife safaris. IHCL has recently entered into a tripartite joint venture along with Conservation Corporation Africa (CC Africa) and Chaudhury Group of Nepal, aimed at focussing on wildlife tourism and hospitality business.

Some of the properties of the Taj Group under the wildlife safari categories include Sawai Madhopur Lodge at Ranthambore, Taj Hari Mahal in Jodhpur, Taj Garden Retreat Thekkady in Kerala, and Hotel Chandela at Panna, among others. Chaudhury Group of Nepal also owns similar property in Nepal. It is learnt from sources, the company plans to club some of these properties, which may include the Chaudhury Group property, under a single umbrella.

The Taj Groups venture into wildlife tourism and hospitality business has already gained ground in the domestic market, and now it also plans to spread its wings in the overseas market.

IHCLs presence spans the entire gamut of the hospitality business, and caters to a wide cross-section of travellers with its luxury, business and leisure hotels. It also has units specialising in air catering and allied services.