InterContinental Hotels Group is making its first step into the Varanasi market with the signing of two new hotels opening in 2021. In partnership with the JHV Group, IHG will develop a Crowne Plaza and a Holiday Inn, which will be owned by two JHV subsidiaries.
M/s Mall Hotel will own the 300-guestroom Crowne Plaza Varanasi near the commercial hub of the city while M/s HLA Hotels will own the 189-guestroom Holiday Inn Varanasi near Sarnath and the airport. “With these signings in Varanasi, we continue to be on track to having 150 hotels open or in our pipeline within in the next 10-15 years,” Sudeep Jain, VP, development, Southwest Asia, IHG, said in a statement.
Government data from Uttar Pradesh, India stated that more than 5.5 million domestic and 300,000 foreign tourists visited the city in 2016, mostly for religious purposes. “With increased connectivity, an increasing number of foreign and domestic tourists are choosing to visit Varanasi, therefore, there is a need for more branded accommodation in the city,” Hira Lal Jaiswal, chairman, M/s HLA Hotels, said in a statement.
The new hotel signings follow IHG’s recent agreement with Samhi to open 14 hotels in India under the Holiday Inn Express brand, expanding its Indian footprint by 34 percent. The hotel group will take over the management of about 2,000 guestrooms in 10 existing hotels and four under construction. The 10 existing hotels will be closed while they undergo complete renovations. They span 11 major cities, including Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Kolkata. Now, India’s hotel stock has 60 Holiday Inn Express hotels in operation or in development.