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Friday, December 2, 2011

ITC set for international foray with luxury hotel in Colombo

Cigarette to hospitality company ITC Ltd is set to enter the international hospitality market with a luxury hotel in the capital city of Sri Lanka, Colombo. The Indian hospitality major is currently in the last leg of discussions with Sri Lankan government and expects the deal to get sealed very soon.

ITC Hotels’ spokesperson confirmed the development saying final details are still being worked out. “All I can say at present is that details about the land parcel, investment, brand, guestroom inventory etc are being discussed,” he said. The project will be developed as a green hotel.

Quoting Sri Lankan government sources, a PTI report said that the ITC is likely to invest Rs 1,544 crore ($300 million) for the said project. The government has approved a $300 million foreign direct investment (FDI) enabling the hotel to be built on 5 acre land parcel located in close proximity to military headquarters in Colombo's famous Galle Face landmark beachfront on a 99-year lease, said the PTI report.

“ITC is a reputed hotel investment group in India, with investments and hotel in India. The government hopes that its presence in Sri Lanka will be a significant contribution toward promoting FDI and the tourism industry in the country,” said the Sri Lankan government information department.

The report further added that the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka will enter a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ITC Hotels enabling the firm to execute the project under concessionary tax terms with permitted exemptions on investments.

The land parcel in discussion was earlier allocated to China Aviation Technology Import Export Corporation (CATIC) for $73.5 million for a hotel project. However, the Chinese firm later withdrew and the Sri Lankan government is in the process of reimbursing $54.4 million dollars already paid by CATIC for the lease of land.

Also Read: ITC will manage third-party hotels...

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