Anantara Jaipur Hotel's pool with two elephant-shaped fountains, rendering photo

Anantara, Avani, NH Collection: Minor Hotels’ Big Move with 50 New Hotels in India

Minor Hotels, a global hotel owner and operator with more than 540 properties in 56 countries, is poised to significantly expand its footprint in India, planning to open 50 new properties over the next decade.

The hospitality group eyes 50 properties in 10 years as it opens Bengaluru office and counts down to Anantara’s debut.

The group will focus its strategy on the upper-upscale and luxury hotel segments, where it expects strong interest from owners in its well-established Anantara, Avani, and NH Collection brands.

The company sees particular promise in Anantara Hotels & Resorts, focusing on unique offerings such as Ayurvedic wellness retreats, wilderness lodges, and historical palaces. Avani Hotels & Resorts aims to capture the burgeoning lifestyle hotel market, while NH Collection Hotels & Resorts is set to capitalize on upscale conversion opportunities.

The potential for NH Hotels & Resorts is also noteworthy, especially in the fast-developing tier two cities and near airports. Minor Hotels is pursuing hotel management contracts and focusing on greenfield projects, continuing its long-standing strategy of creating destination-centric developments.

Amir Golbarg, SVP for Middle East, Africa and India for Minor Hotels, said: “We are bullish on the potential of India, and have already been overwhelmed with owner interest, but are proceeding with a ‘partnerships over properties’ approach. It means we are being very selective in the hotels that we add to our portfolio, with our focus on cultivating meaningful alliances with partners who align with our values and vision. Minor’s strength has always been in our ability to think globally while acting locally, meaning we are well versed at adapting our standards and operations to suit the unique characteristics of each market we operate in – a trait we believe will give us a strong advantage in India.”

Minor Hotels has been present in the India market since 2017, when it launched Oaks Bodhgaya in the northeast Indian state of Bihar. But the group will mark a significant milestone later this year with the opening of Anantara Jaipur Hotel, the debut of its flagship luxury brand in India.

To support this expansion, Minor Hotels has opened a new office in Bengaluru, underscoring its commitment to long-term presence in the Indian market. The group recently appointed Vijay Krishnan as Vice President of Operations for India, overseeing a growing team on the ground. By establishing a permanent strategic presence in Bengaluru, Minor Hotels has positioned itself at the forefront of emerging opportunities in southern India, anticipating significant growth potential in the region.

Dillip Rajakarier, CEO of Minor Hotels and Group CEO of its parent company Minor International (SET:MINT), said: “We believe in India. We believe in its potential as a world-class inbound destination. And we believe in the enormous opportunities that lie in its surging domestic market. It’s why we have made substantial investments in establishing our operations there, and will continue to invest there to realise our growth ambitions. With our extensive experience in managing world-class hotels in emerging destinations, coupled with the strong recognition of our existing hotel brands within the Indian market, we are confident in our ability to play a significant role in India’s ongoing tourism success story.”

Minor Hotels brands have already built strong recognition amongst Indian travellers. For Anantara in particular, India is one of the fastest-growing international source markets, with annual room night production across its Asia and Middle East properties growing 72% in 2023 versus 2022. That trend has continued to date in 2024, with Q1 figures up 36% on last year.

As part of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), Minor Hotels benefits from the robust performance of GHA properties in India, which saw record revenues and loyalty program engagement in 2023. Indian travelers are increasingly active, planning multiple trips for leisure, staycation, and business, with Europe, Thailand, and the Maldives as top destinations.

Minor Hotels’ strategic expansion in India aligns with its broader global growth plans, aiming to add over 200 properties worldwide in the next three years.

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