‘After Sri Lanka, more global hotel launches on the anvil’, says ITC Chairman Sanjiv Puri

ITC plans to promote the new hotel in Colombo through road shows in India

ITC Ratandipa ITC Ratandipa

ITC Chairman Sanjiv Puri said the Indian corporate giant is looking at opening more hotels globally, after its first property outside India was thrown open on Thursday. 

“We are constantly on the lookout for opportunities that align with our strengths…as we want to grow fast,” Puri said. “At the moment, the focus is on proximal markets,” Puri added, ‘proximal’ meaning the focus presently is on hotels in neighbouring countries. After the opening of ITC Ratnadipa in Sri Lanka, the Indian conglomerate is next ‘exploring’ more hotels abroad, starting with Nepal. “(There is a) Resurgence in tourism in this part of the world…when tourism elsewhere is not so buoyant,” Puri said, “It’s a sector that holds immense potential for the future.” 

Ratnadipa in Colombo faces the Indian Ocean and is ITC’s most expensive hotel venture so far, with a capital expenditure of more than Rs 4,000 crore. 

“Sri Lanka has a lot to offer (in tourism). The new generation is looking for new destinations. It checks all the right boxes. India is the largest target market. We will look at MICE, transient individuals, business conferences etc,” Puri said explaining the target audience for the new Sri Lanka hotel. 

The hotel is primarily looking at business conferences, conventions and weddings, with 25,000 sq.ft of banqueting/meeting space alone. As well as the expected tourist influx into Sri Lanka.

ITC has shifted to top gear on its hotel division expansion, ahead of its expected hiving off as an independent company next year. With as many as 70 new hotels in the pipeline, total expenditure, including on new properties and refurbishment of existing ones is expected to cost up to Rs 1,000 crore annually.

ITC Hotels have a total of 134 properties, 22 of them opened in the last one year alone. ITC plans to promote the new hotel in Colombo through roadshows in India which will also showcase ‘Sri Lanka’s attractions’ rather than the hotel alone, according to Puri.

Join our WhatsApp Channel to get the latest news, exclusives and videos on WhatsApp