Star hotels line up to enter Amaravati

In a significant move by CRDA to promote hospitality sector in the upcoming capital city of Amaravati and in line with the vision of the  Chief Minister  N. Chandrababu Naidu of Amaravati being one of the best five capital cities of the world, 31 leading giants in hospitality sector of National and International repute have evinced keen interest in setting up their Star hotels and convention centres in Amaravati and agreed to participate in the EoI (Expression of Interest) stage which will take place in 15 days.

The Government of Andhra Pradesh was working towards establishing ‘Amaravati’ as a world class capital city for the State. The aspiration is to create the people’s capital as a vibrant, diverse, inclusive, and modern city, which is not only a glowing pride for all the people of Andhra Pradesh but also a magnet for skilled migrants, industries, business, professionals and tourists from across the world. A round table conference was conducted with the top developers and Hotel Chains of the country in Vijayawada on the October 18.

The Round Table was chaired by Principal Secretary, CRDA,  Ajay Jain and Commissioner, CRDA, Dr. Sridhar Cherukuri. Laying out the context, Ajay Jain, Principal Secretary (CRDA), explained to the national and international delegates about the potential of development of hospitality sector and time bound programme of the  Chief Minister in setting up of 3-Star to 5-Star Deluxe hotels in order to facilitate the necessary amenities to the business delegates visiting from various developed nations as well as delegates of our nation for making investments in the world class capital city, Amaravati. It is great opportunity for hospitality sector to set up star hotels and convention centres in Amaravati. CRDA is adopting single window system for any approvals for clearances. Entire world is looking at Amaravati due to credibility of  CM in making Amaravati as world class capital city.

Welcoming the delegates, Dr. Sreedhar Cherukuri exhorted that undoubtedly Amaravati will be the most modern Capital city with updated planning model, with a population of over 4 lakhs within 3 years.  Cherukuri gave an overview of Amaravati and presented the development already happened in terms of infrastructure and collaborations. Amaravati will be the most modern capital city with updated planning model, he said.

CRDA also gave an idea of the land extents which are being discussed for each category of hotels. Three models of partnership were also discussed which included Freehold Land, Long Term lease and Revenue Sharing.

 Jain gave the audience a brief on the tendering process which is being thought for setting up Hotels in Amaravati and invited suggestionson land extent, partnership model, phasing of development and any other government support needed for immediate establishment.

N. Srikant, Secretary, Tourism, Government of AP and Girija Shankar, MD, Tourism Development Corporation of AP have also participated and highlighted the priority of the Government in promoting tourism sector in the state and Amaravati in particular

The representatives of the 31 organizations actively participated in the discussion. The approach of the government of conducting consultations found a lot of favour with the audience. They remarked on the process as being very forward, and as necessary to ensure a lot of participation in Amaravati’s development plans.On the model, most participants were in alignment with the CRDA’s proposed model of long term lease while for the others, the concerns were listened and discussed in the forum. Land Extent also was generally accepted with few suggestions on increasing the extent due to Greenfield nature of city and to ensure more open areas.

Subhaash Gulaati Group which has 2 Hotels in United Kingdom including Ramada Hotel inBirmingham is actively scouting for investment locations in India. They mentioned that they were excited about the prospects of Amaravati and have zeroed in on Amaravati as their first Hotel investment in India. They expressed desire to set up an integrated property with a Shopping Mall, Office Space and a 5-Star Hotel in Amaravati. They are looking for 300+ Cr investment for Hotel and were in agreement with the land extent proposed by CRDA. The representatives from the Group were interested in a Freehold land instead of lease model. Mr. Jain at this point addressed their concerns involving the lease model.

Malaxmi Property Ventures mentioned that they have already signed a LoU (Letter of Understanding) with the Hilton Hotels for a 5-Star hotel and Convention Centre in Amaravati. They proposed to set up around 200 rooms on a land extent of 10 Acres. They mentioned that they will be ready for a long term lease model.

ITC Hotels expressed more interested in 4-Star Hotels in the initial phase. ITC also shared the preferred land extents of 3 Acre, 4 Acre and 4.5-5.5 Acre for 3-Star, 4-Star and 5-Star Hotels respectively and were in agreement with both land sale and long term lease model.

Fortune Murali Park, which is looking to set up 200 rooms in the capital city, mentioned that a Freehold land model would be best preferred by them. They also suggested that a higher land parcel for each category of hotel would be ideal as they are looking to have higher green coverage.

Novotel mentioned that they are also very interested and they expressed desire to set up Budget 100-room Hotels in Phase 1 before moving to Mid-scale and luxury segment. Besides these, the forum saw many suggestions around the pre-selection and post-selection process including assistance by CRDA in approvals from multiple departments. After detailed discussions, Ajay Jain proposed to release an EOI(Expression of Interest) incorporating the suggestions from conference within 2 weeks and assured all support from the Government to ensure that allotment of required land and approvals would be finalized at the earliest. A pre-bid conference will also be conducted at the later stage. (NSS)