Saturday, January 28

Business or pleasure, hotel for all reasons

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 ITC Royal Bengal is all set to open doors in the city between April and June, creating around 700 direct job opportunities and as many indirect ones.

The towering building coming up next to ITC Sonar on EM Bypass will have 456 rooms to meet the city’s rising demand.

“In the last five years I have been in Calcutta, the number of hotel rooms has doubled, yet the occupancy has never been low,” said Atul Bhalla, area manager, east, ITC Hotels, and ITC Sonar general manager. “There is no lean season now, though there are certain periods when the demand peaks — Durga Puja, the winter months or when there is a big sports event in the city.” The Bengal Global Business Summit, an annual event organised by the state government to showcase investment potential and readiness, is another top draw. “There are hardly any hotel rooms left in the star hotels, right from the airport to Chowringhee,” said an executive of a private infrastructure company.

The 28-storey ITC Royal ITC Royal Bengal on EM Bypass. Picture by Gautam Bose Bengal will have one presidential and one grand presidential suite besides 80 serviced apartments for executives on long trips to the city.

The Oberoi Grand, too, has expansion plans in the city. Prithvi Raj Singh Oberoi, the executive chairman of EIH Limited — the company that owns the hotel — has revealed plans to create 50 new rooms in the next 18 months. The heritage hotel will add a luxury wing on the side of the property that overlooks Chowringhee. Post expansion, the hotel will have 259 rooms.

ITC Royal Bengal, along with ITC Sonar, will offer about 1,00,000 sq of space for banquets, meetings and weddings. MICE — meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions — make up for nearly 35 per cent of a hotel’s revenue and most hotels are now keen on keeping large banquet space.

Bhalla said Calcutta’s location makes it perfectly suited for MICE. “The city serves as the gateway to seven north-eastern states and also three neighbouring countries — Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. Air connectivity to all these places has improved. Besides, China is also two hours from the city,” he said..

Source: Telegraph India

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