Entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou used the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation’s India Investor Summit, held in Mumbai, as the platform to announce the Indian launch of his easyHotel franchise.The UK budget travel icon’s group has formed an alliance with Istithmar Hotels to open chain of budget hotels across the country.
As part of its tie-up, Istithmar Hotels, a subsidiary of UAE-group Istithmar PJSC, plans to open eight new budget hotels across major metropolitan cities in India over the next four years.
Stelios Haji-Ioannou said, “We are very excited about partnering with Istithmar and targeting the burgeoning demand for budget hotels caused by the recent explosion in budget air travel in India. We eagerly look forward to carving a niche for ourselves in the region and capitalising on this boom in budget travel, making a difference in many people’s lives.”
Within its strategic growth plans, Istithmar Hotels aims to open an easyHotel in Mumbai, Chennai, New Delhi and Kolkata over the next two years, and another four properties in other cities by 2009. The alliance plans to open more easyHotels in the Middle East, North Africa, Levant, India and Pakistan over the next five years.
Talking about the plans for India, Muneef Tarmoom, CEO of Istithmar, said, “Bringing the easyHotel chain to India will alleviate the acute shortage of rooms available to the budget traveller. With its no-frills, economical prices and low overhead costs, the easyHotel brand is perfectly suited for budget travellers in the subcontinent.”