InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has signed a management agreement with Lotus Trans Travel Private Limited to establish a four hotel portfolio under the Holiday Inn banner. Slated to open between 2020 and 2023, Holiday Inn Bodhgaya, Holiday Inn Kushinagar, Holiday Inn Gorakhpur and Holiday Inn Shravasti together will add over 450 rooms to IHG's system and establish company's presence at the Buddhist tourism circuit.
As a part of the agreement, Holiday Inn hotels in Bodhgaya, Kushinagar and Shravasti will be refurbished and upgraded, to ensure the portfolio is fully representative of the Holiday Inn brand globally. Holiday Inn Gorakhpur will be will be a new build hotel.
Bodhgaya in Bihar, Gorakhpur, Shravasti and Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh are some of the main pilgrimage centres for Buddhism in India and together form a part of 'The Buddhist Circuit' in the country that drives a great deal of religious visitors and international travellers to these states. With this signing, IHG is uniquely positioned as the first international operator to have presence in the Buddhist Circuit of India.
Commenting on the announcement, Sudeep Jain, Vice President, Development, South West Asia, IHG said: "We are excited to be collaborating with Lotus Trans Travel Private Limited, who have a strong presence and a deep market understanding of Buddhist destinations in India. This signing adds to the rapidly growing presence of our well-recognized Holiday Inn brand across the country. The Holiday Inn brand family is IHG's growth engine in India, and this agreement is in line with our development strategy for the South West Asia region.
He added: The Buddhist Circuit is an important landmark for religious tourism and is being further established, as a result of the Government's efforts to develop and promote the route. This presents a great opportunity for us, and we look forward to catering to the growing number of tourists', and the local demand for F&B and banqueting requirements."
Lajpat Rai, Managing Director, Lotus Trans Travel Private Limited, said: "We are thrilled to partner with IHG® for our portfolio of hotels in the Buddhist tourism circuit including Bodhgaya, Kushinagar, Gorakhpur and Shravasti. The global scale and many years of international hotel management experience makes IHG an ideal partner for us to further strengthen our offering. Holiday Inn is one of the world's most loved hotel brands, and we are confident it will cater to the growing number of travellers visiting these cities."
Karan Rai, Director, Lotus Trans Travel Private Limited, added: ""We feel there is a need for quality branded accommodation in cities with immense travel potential such as Bodhgaya, Kushinagar, Gorakhpur and Shravasti, and are delighted to be partnering with IHG for our business in these markets. With IHG's strong distribution systems, preferred brands and best in class loyalty program, we are confident to achieve success across all four hotels."
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