American hospitality group Marriott International is opening 20 hotels in India this year and the first of these was inaugurated today in the city.
American hospitality group Marriott International is opening 20 hotels in India this year and the first of these was inaugurated today in the city. ‘Renaissance Ahmedabad Hotel’, which has 155 rooms, was inaugurated here. The world’s largest hotel chain is planning to open seven more hotels in Gujarat in the next three years, Marriott International vice-president (South Asia) Neeraj Govil told reporters at the opening of the new property. “This year, we are opening 20 hotels in India and this ‘Renaissance’ (in Ahmedabad) is the first one. “Probably by the end of this year, another hotel -Courtyard by Marriott – will come up on the Sindhu Bhavan Road here. We are planning to open seven hotels in Gujarat in the next three years,” Govil said. At present, Marriott International, having over 6,000 hotels across the world, operates 98 properties in the country under 15 different brands, including ‘Renaissance’, he added.
While Govil is bullish about the growth potential in India and Gujarat, he feels the GST range of 18 per cent and 28 per cent (depending on room tariffs) should come down. “Tax rates in most of the markets we compete with such as Thailand or Singapore, are in the range of 4 to 10 per cent. The highest is in Australia, that is 18 per cent. We have put forward our demand (before the government) about reduction in GST rates through various industry bodies.”
According to Vinay Gupta, a top executive of SAMHI Hotels, which owns the ‘Renaissance Ahmedabad Hotel’ and gave it to Marriott for operation, the GST rate of 28 per cent should come down if India wants to attract foreign customers. “(GST of) 28 per cent is levied on upscale hotels, which normally attract international customers. This 28 per cent GST is the highest in the Asia Pacific region. “Twenty-eight per cent tax here serves as a deterrent in attracting international customers. It should come down,” said Gupta, vice-president (asset Management), SAMHI Hotels.