ITC is planning to go overseas with its hotel business and is planning to set up a premium, green, luxury property in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo.
Confirming the development, an ITC spokesman said “At the moment, it is ITC's first proposed overseas foray to build and manage a hotel. The company said that Sri Lanka was strategically important to the company's investment plans for hotels, given the vibrant tourism potential that the country offers.
The hotel is likely to come up on around six to eight acres in and around the capital city. It is believed that talks on the project were initiated around mid-2011.
ITC declined to divulge further details of its plans beyond saying “ITC has expressed intent to build a premium green luxury hotel in Colombo. We are in discussion with the Sri Lankan Government in this regard.”
ITC said that it saw in Sri Lanka “an opportunity to set up a greenfield property that is built on the ethos of 'Responsible Luxury' that has made ITC Hotels the greenest luxury hotel chains in the world.”
The move is seen as part of ITC's plans to rapidly scale up business. “Several new projects, including joint ventures and management contracts, are on the anvil.” the company said. ITC aims at becoming the largest hotel chain in India over the next few years.
ITC felt that although in the short-term the hospitality industry was impacted by weak macroeconomic environment in the two key markets, the U.S. and Europe, as well as the domestic market, the long-term outlook was positive. Within the country, ITC is setting up new super luxury properties in Chennai, Kolkata and a Classic Golf Resort in Gurgaon.s