Boost for Odisha tourism as Taj Hotel, Hyatt, ITC plan properties in state

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In a fillip to the tourism sector in Odisha, large hotel brands such as Taj Hotels, Hyatt Hotels, ITC Hotels and Crown Plaza have lined up plans for putting up properties in the state.

"Taj Hotel is coming up with a large commercial complex. Similarly, we are hopeful that ITC's property will be ready in the next six months. All the new hotels will be coming up in Bhubaneswar," said a senior official of the tourism department.

ITC Group is putting up a 110 room five star hotel in Bhubaneswar under its Welcome Hotel brand.

Odisha has 13 star-category hotels with a combined inventory of 1,200 rooms. Of these, only two properties -- Mayfair Lagoon and Hotel Trident -- are in the five-star deluxe category.

The state's tourism department is also engaging key state-based hoteliers to tap the franchise business model with flagship brands like Hilton Group, Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, Raddison Hotels, Taj Group and Starwood.

Collaboration with the hospitality brands of repute could help showcase Odisha as a global tourism destination.

Leading hotel groups in the state are open to the concept. To accommodate increased flow of tourists by 2025, Odisha needs to ramp up hotel room capacity three fold at an estimated investment of Rs 14.5 through public private participation, said a study report.

Odisha has 9,791 tourists per category hotel rooms, which are higher than the national average of 7,357, according to India Tourism Statistics, that implies the state has a dearth of category hotel rooms.

"During 2013-14, the net flow of tourist spending has grown by 117 per cent, contributed majorly by domestic tourists (growth of 120 per cent), while the number of tourists have grown by only eight per cent. This implies increased length of stay, higher spending per tourist arrivals and substantiates the demand for luxury and category hotel rooms in the state," read a report prepared by the KPMG jointly with the state owned Industrial Promotion & Investment Corporation of Odisha Ltd (Ipicol).

A three-fold increase in the number of hotel rooms in the state by 2025 will require a capital expenditure of Rs 14.5 billion through a public private participation, added the report.

Tourism is one of the six focus sectors for attracting new investment identified by the Odisha government.

"Considering an average of 5,000 tourists served per category hotel room, the number of category hotel rooms should be 5,000, an increase of close to 4,000 category rooms. In order to bring down the average hotel room occupancy rate to 60 per cent, the number of hotel beds have to be beefed up to 270,000 by 2025, a three-fold increase in the number of hotel beds", added the report on Odisha Industrial Development Plan 2025.