CHAIRMAN'S ' STATEMENT
It is my privilege to present to you on behalf of the Board of Directors of HotelLeelaventure Limited the 36th Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year endedMarch 31 2017. 30 years ago in April 1987 our Founder Capt C.P. Krishnan Nair with thehelp of family and well-wishers opened The Leela Mumbai a 5-star hotel in North Mumbailaying the foundation and vision for one of the most respected names in hospitalityworldwide. The hotel since its opening has been the winner of many awards and has hosted anumber of celebrities and dignitaries like His Holiness The Dalai Lama Late BaronessMargaret Thatcher the Former Prime Minister of United Kingdom Princess Anne of theUnited Kingdom Pierce Brosnan the actor and many others. Over the years we have added 8more luxurious hotels to the group and today The Leela Palaces Hotels and Resorts is aleading player in the luxury hotels business focusing on building and delivering superiorguest experiences that bring us closer to them. Our understanding of the industry hasevolved in terms of consumer trends and technological innovations and we aim to be thepreferred brand.
Leela could soon become an international brand as we have signed MOU for managing twohotels overseas. Also in line with our asset-light strategy we have secured several newmanagement contracts and expect our current portfolio of 9 hotels to grow to 15 in next 6years.
I am pleased to inform you that our properties continue to garner accolades andrecognition from leading domestic and international agencies. For the second year in arow The Leela Palaces Hotels and Resorts has been voted amongst the Top 15 HotelBrands in the World' by the readers of Travel + Leisure USA in the 2017 World's BestAwards survey. In the same survey The Leela Palace Udaipur has been ranked Number 7 amongthe Top 10 Best Resort Hotels of Asia' and Number 34 in the Top 100 BestHotels in the World' category. The awards are a result of a worldwide Readers Pollconducted by Travel + Leisure USA in which travellers among other things hand-pick andrate the world's most exceptional hotels on key parameters - quality location servicerestaurants and value. Closer home The Leela Palace Udaipur was awarded theFavourite Indian Hotel Spa' and a Favourite Indian Leisure Hotel' by the CondeNast Traveller India Readers' Travel Awards 2016.
Additionally our Hotels also received top rankings in TripAdvisor 2016 Travellers'Choice. Most notably The Leela Palace New Delhi has been named among Top 25Hotels in India' Top 25 Luxury Hotels in India' and Top 25 Hotels forService in India.' The Leela Palace Udaipur has been named among the Top 25 LuxuryHotels in India.' The awards are determined based on the millions of reviews and opinionscollected in a single year from travellers worldwide by TripAdvisor the world's largesttravel website. The hallmarks of Travellers' Choice winners are remarkable servicequality and value.
Tourism in India accounts for over 9% of GDP and is the third largest foreign exchangeearner in the country. The Indian hospitality industry
continues to be one of the key drivers of growth among the services sector in India andalso a potentially large employment generator. Positive growth has been registered in bothDomestic and Foreign Tourists visit during 2017.
There has been a growth of 55.3% in Foreign Tourist arrivals on e-Visa in 2017 over2016. More and more tourists are availing of the e-Visa facilities as the Government hasalso launched several initiatives such as providing pre-loaded SIM cards to foreigntourists arriving in India on e-Visa. The initiative will help foreign touristscommunicate with their acquaintances immediately after arriving in India. In order tosimplify and speed up the procedure of obtaining visas for tourists coming to India onmedical purposes the Government of India has extended the facility of e-medical Visa withan extension of duration of stay for up to 6 months (to be granted on a case-to-casebasis). More tourists bode for better business for hotels. We hope to continue to see ademand for hotel rooms for more reasons than one.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Board Management and Staff - fortheir invaluable contribution and deep commitment in delivering excellent services to allour guests. I look forward to their continued support to surpass all expectations in thecoming years. I also thank all our esteemed shareholders and valued partners for theirloyalty and their support.
Chairman and Managing Director
Hotel Leelaventure Ltd.