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Monday, 29 January, 2018, 18 : 30 PM [IST]

Leisure Group to embark on aggressive expansion in alternate accommodation space pan-India

To open their first hostel in Rishikesh this year
Leisure Hotels, a strong hospitality chain in Uttarakhand with properties in the luxury resort, luxury camps, villas space, will be embarking on an aggressive expansion in the alternate accommodation segment in leisure destinations in the coming year. The company has developed a prototype of Villas under ‘The Bungalows’ brand a year ago, which they hope to expand through asset light model in leisure destinations like Goa. In order to drive that business, the company is also planning to bring an external investor into the fold soon, said Vibhas Prasad, Director of the Group.

Currently, the company runs 16 villas in 10 locations in its portfolio. “We want to take it to 200 villas in the first phase ad build on to 1,000 villas. There are 1,000 private villas available in destinations like Goa alone, that is the potential in that space,” he said. Leisure Hotels looks at tying up with private villa owners with revenue projections and “a variable revenue sharing’. With the network of villas they are expecting in future, Prasad said that they will be “building an internal time share” model for owners within the network. 

He said that because of the online and offline distribution expertise that Leisure Hotels has built over the years, they will be able to make the real difference in the space. 

In the alternate accommodation space, Leisure Hotels will also test their first Hostel in Rishikesh this year. The company is hopeful of opening their first hostel in the next six months time with 100 beds. “Despite being a hostel, each of our room will be well equipped with all the modern amenities,” Prasad said. He said that Rishikesh gets a mix of spiritual, wellness, adventure and leisure traffic and a good hostel will be relevant to all types of travelers. When asked about the brand architecture, he said that they are yet to finalise the brand for the hostel. However, he stated that they will look at replicating the prototype to other places based on the response.  

Talking about the camping space, Prasad said that they currently operate six tented camps – 4 on Chardham route, and other two in wilderness destinations of Rajaji National Park and Corbett – and will look at more opportunities as the infrastructure on the Chardham route improves. He reposed hopes on governments proposed all-weather road and rail project to connect spiritual destinations on the Chardham.

Talking about the expansion strategy, Prasad said, “We bank lot of properties in Uttrakhand, we now plan to diversify and explore new segment in & outside the state. We plan to expand through an asset light model with management & marketing of properties of Hotels, Resorts & Villa’s (Bungalows) across North & Central India to begin with. We are also in talks with external investors who will help us accelerate our expansion strategy.”

Leisure Hotels owns and manages 25 properties with portfolio comprising resorts, camps,  Villas, and business hotels. 
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