Carlson Rezidor seeks northern exposure with major Indian hotel deal

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has signed a major deal that will substantially boost its portfolio in northern India.

The agreement with the Mushtaq Group of Hotels will lead to the opening of seven hotels under three of Carlson Rezidor’s brands: Radisson Blu, Radisson and Country Inns & Suites by Carlson. All of the properties will be located in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, with the first expected to launch in state’s summer capital, Srinagar, in the fourth quarter of 2016.

“This multiple hotel portfolio deal underscores the rapid rate of Carlson Rezidor’s expansion and reinforces our leading position in India, a key market that we remain deeply committed to,” said Thorsten Kirschke, Carlson Rezidor’s president for Asia Pacific. “We are pleased to be forging a new partnership and will be employing our proven strategy of signing conversions as well as new-builds to establish a strong brand presence efficiently and expediently.”

The expansion will get underway next year with the opening of the Radisson Srinagar, an 89-key property located in the centre of the city. This will be followed in Q3 2017 by the Country Inn & Suites by Carlson Jammu, a 55-room property located in the state’s winter capital.

Carlson Rezidor Raj Rana (far right) and Thorsten Kirschke (second right) sign the deal with Mushtaq Chaya, chairman of the Mushtaq Group of Hotels (second left)
Carlson Rezidor Raj Rana (far right) and Thorsten Kirschke (second right) sign the deal with Mushtaq Chaya, chairman of the Mushtaq Group of Hotels (second left)

Two hotels will then open in 2018; the 118-room Radisson Pahalgam Golf View Resort, which will offer direct access to the Pahalgam Golf Course when it opens in Q3 2018, and the 100-room Country Inn & Suites by Carlson Sonamarg, a new-build property that will launch in Q4 2018 close to the state’s Himalayan glaciers and trekking routes.

Then in 2020, the 80-key Country Inn & Suites by Carlson Gulmarg will open in India’s main ski resort, and the 225-room Radisson Blu Srinagar will offer a new luxury option in centre of Srinagar.

Finally in 2021, Carlson Rezidor will launch the 150-room Radisson Blu Resort Tangmarg, a new-build hotel located close to the winter sports area of Gulmarg.

“[Jammu and Kashmir] enjoys strong domestic leisure demand and is home to some of the most visited leisure destinations in India,” said Raj Rana, Carlson Rezidor’s CEO for South Asia. “Integral to our growth in India is an emphasis on expanding in leisure markets and state capitals. With the signing of this portfolio, we will make inroads into the summer and winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir, as well as provide our Club Carlson members an international brand choice in high demand leisure driven markets such as Srinagar, Pahalgam and Gulmarg.”

Across India, Carlson Rezidor currently has almost 120 hotels in operation and under development. This is expected to rise to 170 hotels by 2020, and the company has set itself the target of operating in every Indian state capital.

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