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20150502
Marasa Hospitality to open properties across religious destinations in India



Rituparna ChatterjeeMumbai


Marasa Hospitality, a part of East Africa based Madhvani Group, has plans to expand its footprint across popular religious destinations in India including Rishikesh, Bodh Gaya, Shirdi, Puri, Varanasi, Katra, among others. The brand entered the India market in 2008 by signing a joint venture (JV) with Sarovar Hotels & Resorts wherein the latter would be managing the first four properties of Marasa Hospitality. Speaking on the expansion, Yogesh Prajapati, director, finance, Marasa Hospitality stated, “In the next 10 years, we want to have eight-10 hotels under our brand in India. Presently, we have one operational property in Tirupati and another in Rajkot. We have purchased land in Rishikesh and Bodh Gaya and the necessary approvals have been taken for the same. We are also on the verge of signing a land deal in Shirdi and are exploring possibilities of acquiring land in Puri, Varanasi and Katra.” The development of the Rishikesh property is expected to begin this year and achieve completion in 1.5-two years. Following this, work is expected to begin on the Shirdi property and later on the Bodh Gaya property.
When asked about the investment earmarked for the expansion, Prajapati opined, “The hotel category will decide the amount of investment. For instance, a three-star category hotel will cost Rs 50-55 lakh per key, while a five star property will cost Rs 70-75 lakh per key. We have not finalised the designs of the hotels yet and once we do, we will accordingly decide the categories and the investments.”
Presently, Marasa Hospitality has four properties in Uganda and three in Kenya. The brand is also planning to open a property in Zanzibar. However, the plans for the same are still at a nascent stage.
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