The Hilton and Accor hotel groups have both launched joint ventures in India to build about 180 new hotels in the sub-continent.

Hilton’s joint venture (JV) is with DLF Limited, an Indian property development company based in Delhi.

Their newly created company aims to build 75 hotels and serviced apartments, representing up to four different Hilton brands, over the next seven years.

The first stage of the JV aims to build 20 hotels, mainly in key destinations like Chandigarh, Chennai and Kolkata.

Many of these new properties will be Hilton Garden Inns which are aimed at the business traveller.

Under the terms of agreement, DLF will own 74% of the new venture and Hilton the remaining 26%.

Hilton is expecting to invest up to $143m in the venture over the next seven years.

Mr Ian Carter, its executive vp Hilton Hotels Corporation and ceo of Hilton International Operations, said: “India is an outstanding market for hotel development, given its powerful combination of economics and demographics.

“Hilton will build on its collective experience in India and the opportunity with DLF is a compelling next step to capitalise on the development momentum and build our Hilton Family of Brands in India.”

Shakti Singh, director, hospitality business, DLF said: “We are very excited about this venture with Hilton. We see tremendous opportunities for growth in the hospitality sector in India, given the attractive tourism and business avenues unfolding in the country.”

Paris-based Accor has signed three JVs to develop its brands in India.

The first is with EMAAR Properties, based in Dubai, to build 100 of its budget brand Formule 1. Both sides will invest a total of $300m in the project.

Accor said the locations were currently being decided buty it expected ten hotels to open within the next two years.

The French hotel company has also signed a JV with InterGlobe to build Ibis hotels at six locations: Bangalore where the Ibis will be part of a complex including another Accor brand Novotel, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Pune, Jaipur and Hyderabad – all key Indian business centres.

Accor said it expected to have 15 Ibis hotels in India by the end of 2007 for an investment of $180m.

The third JV is with Naman Developers with which it said it would build a 300-room, $160m Sofitel Mumbai in the Bandra Kurla Complex of the city which will open in 2009.

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