Espire Hospitality plans to have 20 hotels by FY25 with Rs 560 cr capex

Espire Hospitality Group plans to have 20 operational properties by 2024-25, with a capital investment of Rs 560 crore under its brands – Zana, Country Inn Express and Country Inn Premier, a top executive said on Saturday.

“Currently we have 10 hotels in the portfolio under the 5-star luxury boutique resort brand ‘ZANA – a Luxury Escapes’ and the 4-star brand ‘Country Inn Hotels and Resorts’, with 780 keys. In this financial year we will add another 200 keys (3 ZANA resorts) to reach 13 operational hotels with 980 keys,” Akhil Arora, CEO of Espire Hospitality Group, told PTI.

The capex, through internal financing, will also be used for renovation, leasing and upgrading of the existing hotels in a phased manner, he added.

The hospitality group, Arora said, is exploring both greenfield and brownfield properties in leisure destinations such as Goa, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh.

“We are exploring opportunities in leisure destinations and Tier I cities to expand our footprint. We are looking at Goa, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh, as well as Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Building on our expansion, we are opening a ZANA resort in Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh at Diwali, in Rishikesh in Uttarakhand in December and Jim Corbett in February 2024,” he added.

The company, he said, is also looking at opportunities at pilgrimage destinations to expand its real estate portfolio.

“Destinations for pilgrims are crucial and we want to start by entering Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh,” he added.

The homegrown hospitality company currently has 10 operational hotels and under the luxury boutique segment are ZANA Forest Resort, Ranthambore (opening on Saturday), ZANA Lake Resort, Udaipur in Rajasthan.

In the mid-market, the company has properties in Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Uttar Pradesh. With the current expansion, the company expects to more than double its revenue by 2024-25, Arora said, adding that Espire Hospitality clocked over Rs 30 crore in revenue in FY23.

With the tourism sector booming, he says, the hospitality industry has witnessed an average occupancy rate of 60 percent, and Espire Hospitality has also seen a similar occupancy rate.

“Together with the sector, we are experiencing a 20 percent increase in occupancy, rates and demand, compared to pre-Covid times.

“This is because travelers have significantly increased their domestic travel share thanks to domestic chains offering more personalized, hygienic services and their increased focus on sustainability. We have a 60 percent occupancy rate across India across our entire portfolio. Our immediate focus is to bring it up to 70 percent,” Arora added.

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