According to industry estimates, of the 25,000 hotel rooms coming up in the next five years, 40 per cent are in the budget sector. This is a move endorsed by large corporate groups such as ITC-Welcomgroup, Indian Hotels Company Ltd (Taj group), the Marriott and Sarovar hotels with its Hometel brand.
For ITC-Welcomgroup the entry in the budget segment was with a franchise model where it has positioned the Fortune Park brand in the mid-price segment. The owners pay ITC-Welcomgroup a fee for managing and operating the hotel. According to Mandeep S Lamba, president of Fortune Park Hotels, "We have 15 operating properties which are in the three to four-star category. Two more are expected to become operational at Ludhiana and Vijayawada by the end of this financial year and another at Kolkata thereafter." Fortune Park Hotels plan to reach a tally of 50 hotels by 2010.
This brand offers value for money. Its newest unit, Fortune Global, which completed a year in December, was essentially positioned at the entrance of the corporate hub - Gurgaon - where it could tap both the Gurgaon and South Delhi clientele. Since the target client is the business traveller, functionality and traveller comfort is the key.