Carlson bullish on India

SINGAPORE - Carlson Hotels Worldwide plans to add more than 50 properties or over 6,000 rooms to its India portfolio by 2011. The expansion will be spread across four brands - Radisson Hotels & Resorts, Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Park Inn and Country Inns & Suites By Carlson. This is part of the group's strategy to double its regional presence in Asia-Pacific over the next four years. This year alone, Carlson plans to open several hotels in major gateway cities in India including Delhi, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Kolkata and Bangalore. "India represents about 70 percent of our hotels currently under development across the region and will remain our core growth market along with China, Thailand and the South Pacific," said K.B Kachru, Carlson's executive vice president, South-Asia. India was the first regional market where Carlson launched its affordable Park Inn brand. There are currently two Park Inn properties in operation, with another five Park Inn properties under development - Park Inn Gurgaon, Park Inn Ludhiana, Park Inn & Suites Bangalore, Park Inn Jaipur Jai Singh Highway and Park Inn Delhi CBD Shahdara. The group also plans to bring its luxury Regent brand to the country over the next two years. "Although we are currently experiencing challenging economic conditions, in the long-term, a growing number of Indians are expected to enjoy unprecedented levels of affluence. It is therefore important that our acclaimed luxury brand Regent, is represented in this fast-growing market," added Kachru.

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