Taj Hotels will aggressively expand its footprint in the next two to three years due to a strong travel industry recovery. Although domestic tourism will account for most of this development, North America, Europe, and the Middle East are among the places where there is a sizable Indian diaspora and other countries where desi travellers frequently travel.
The Tata Group company now operates two hotels, each in the US, UK, and Africa, three in the UAE, and eight in India’s immediate neighbourhood.
The Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), the parent company of Taj, has a portfolio of 242 hotels under its various brands, with 63 now under construction in more than 100 sites on four continents. By 2025, 300 hotels will be in operation.
While remaining a debt-free company, IHCL MD-CEO Puneet Chhatwal is planning a shift in the ownership management contract properties. “IHCL will focus on re-structuring its portfolio to achieve a 50:50 mix between its owned/leased and managed hotels, which currently stands at 54:46,” he said.
On global expansion, Chhatwal said, “We are exploring strategic partnership opportunities in key global markets across the UK, the US and Europe, among others, which have substantial customer crossover with India. The Middle East, with locations such as Makkah — where IHCL has a Taj hotel in the pipeline, will continue to be a strong focus area for us in the next couple of years for developing our brand.”
IHCL is looking to explore new destinations and will open hotels in Lakshadweep and Diu in light of how domestic tourism is affected by the pandemic.