International hospitality major Carlson, which runs the luxury chain Radisson, plans to scale up its Indian operations to 50 hotels this year and also looks at more than doubling the portfolio by 2015, its President and CEO Hubert Joly said.
"We are quite optimistic about India's tourism and travel growth story, which is all set to double in size this year. We see India as a strategic destination with enormous opportunity and hence plan to scale up our operations here," Joly told PTI here today.
Carlson plans to open 19 more hotels this year and will be signing the contracts shortly, Joly said.
Besides Radisson, Carlson also operates Park Plaza in the premium segment and two brands--Country Inn and Suites and Park Inn--in the mid-segment. About 90 per cent of the hotels are operated, globally, through management contracts and franchise model.
Of the 19 properties Carlson plans to open this year, 11 would be Radisson with 1542 rooms, five Park Plaza, two Country Inns and suites and one Park Inn. It already runs 15 Radisson Hotels with 4,087 keys, 10 Country Inns, 6 Park Plaza and 3 Park Inns.
Carlson also holds a 26 per cent stake in Country Development and Marketing Services (CDMS), promoted by Ranjan Bhattacharya.
CDMS is the franchise partner for Country Inn and Suites.
"This is the right time to expand in India as the GDP is growing at 8-9 per cent. Our focus will be equally on the luxury as well as the mid-scale segment (Rs 4,000-5000 per night). Our aim is to be one of the largest players in the country.
"With our strong brands we also look at investing more in terms of manpower. The hotels would be generating thousands of jobs every year," Joly said without giving any specific investment figure.
The company's initial focus would be on the Delhi NCR region followed by south and west and then the eastern region, Joly said adding that it plans to open two Radisson hotels in Malad and Powai (Mumbai) and one in Coimbatore in early 2012.
Carlson, that operates around 1,085 hotels globally, would open its Indian properties in cities such as Agra, Amritsar, Hyderabad, Ghaziabad, Goa, Ahmedabad and Chennai among others.