UK hospitality chain to enter Indian market

New Delhi, March 22 | Updated: Mar 23 2006, 05:48am hrs
BIL International, the holding company of UKs leading hospitality chain Thistle Hotels, on Wednesday, said it is planning to enter the Indian market with its international brand, Guoman hotels.

Currently our consultants are working on the India plan. We are likely to take a decision by the end of the year, Thistle hotel area general manager, Sanjay Nijhawan, said. He said that the company was looking at both options of greenfield projects and acquisitions in India.

The Indian market is extremely important for our future growth and if we set up our physical presence here, it may be about three or four hotels at one go in metros like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai, he said.

The Guoman hotels would be in the four star deluxe and five star category, he added. Mr Nijhawan, however, declined to comment on the investments for the Indian expansion. We are a private company and funds are not an issue, he said.

The company, on Wednesday, formally announced its tie-up with the Nijhawan group, appointing it as its sales and maketing representative in India.

The Nijhawan group will also be the Indian marketing representative for Thistles UAE partner Rotana hotels.

The company also had plans to generate more income from the Indian tourists to the UK that now was about 2% of its overall income, Mr Nijhawan said.

We have set a target of 2.5 million pounds to be generated from Indian travellers to the UK, he said.