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Hotel boom is new buzz in Bengal

By Aparajita Gupta, IANS,

Kolkata : The advent of various industries in West Bengal and the influx of people along with it have encouraged many hoteliers and realtors to infuse billions of rupees to cater to the burgeoning need for hotel rooms.

These realtors have stepped on the gas to change the city skyline and the state government is only too delighted to find so much investment in the state.

The Apeejay Group, which owns the Park Hotels, bagged a 3.35-acre property along Kolkata’s Eastern Metropolitan Bypass for Rs.1.36 billion ($30 million) and has plans for a 300-room five star hotel in the plot.

Apart from the Apeejay group, other biggies who have planned to change the city skyline are DLF-Hilton and Bengal Shrishti Infrastructure Development Ltd.

Hotel occupancy in the recent years have increased manifold, making it extremely hard to get vacant rooms in the premium hotels without prior booking – sometimes months in advance.

With the state’s Left Front government’s effort to spruce the tourism sector in this region the occupancy rate will only multiply in the coming years, industry experts said.

“We are working on a premium hotel project in Rajarhat on eight acres property,” said Hemant Kanoria, director of Bengal Shrishti Infrastructure Development Ltd, whose Rs.5 billion ($125 million) hotel project is under way in Rajarhat.

“Kolkata is a buzzing city. Hotels have a great future over here,” Kanoria told IANS. The location of the group’s project is in the north-western fringe of the city, with proximity to city’s international airport.

He expects the project to be completed by 2010.

Commenting on the her group’s 3.35-acre project, Priya Paul, the chairperson of Apeejay group, said: “The acquisition is in tune with the continuing investment of the Apeejay Surrendra Group into developing West Bengal.”

Kolkata, which is known for its high cultural value and warmth, is gearing up to host many more guests in the coming days with sprawling hotels.