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Marriott International to open 20 hotels in India this year

American hospitality group Marriott International is opening 20 hotels in India this year and the first of these was inaugurated today in the city. Renaissance Ahmedabad Hotel, which has 155 rooms was inaugurated in Ahmedabad. The world’s largest hotel chain is planning to open seven more hotels in Gujarat in the next three years. Marriott International’s vice-president (South Asia) Neeraj Govil said, “This year, we are opening 20 hotels in India and the Renaissance in Ahmedabad is the first one. Probably by the end of this year, another hotel Courtyard by Marriott will come up on the Sindhu Bhavan Road here. We are planning to open seven hotels in Gujarat in the next three years.”

At present, Marriott International, having over 6,000 hotels across the world, operates 98 properties in the country under 15 different brands, including Renaissance.

While Govil is quiet about the growth potential in India and Gujarat, he feels the GST range of 18 per cent and 28 per cent (depending on room tariffs) should come down. “Tax rates in most of the markets we compete with such as Thailand or Singapore are in the range of four to 10 per cent. The highest is in Australia, that is 18 per cent. We have put forward our demand before the government about reduction in GST rates through various industry bodies,” Govil said.

According to Vinay Gupta, vice president (asset management), SAMHI Hotels, which owns the Renaissance Ahmedabad Hotel and gave it to Marriott for operation, feels that the GST rate of 28 per cent should come down if India wants to attract foreign customers. “GST of 28 per cent is levied on upscale hotels which normally attract international customers. This 28 per cent GST is the highest in the Asia Pacific region.Twenty-eight per cent tax here serves as a deterrent in attracting international customers. It should come down,” said Gupta.

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