Minor targets growth in India

A relative newcomer to the Indian hotel market, Minor Hotels from Thailand is making up for lost time with plans to substantially expand its presence there via its Anantara, Avani and NH Collection brands

Thailand’s Minor Hotels is the latest hotel company to make a public commitment to grow its presence in the booming Indian hotel marketplace. The company has set out plans to add 50 hotels in the country over the next decade, doubling its presence in India.

With a strong portfolio of brands across a variety of industry segments, Minor plans to deploy its upper upscale and luxury brands, including Anantara, Avani and NH Collection, as it expands its India presence. The Anantara brand, strong on wellness retreats will also be looking for opportunities to create hotels in historical palaces and wilderness lodges. Avani is more of a lifestyle brand, while NH Collection is looking to sign upper upscale conversions.

A newcomer to India

While it has over 540 hotels across 56 countries around the globe, it was only as recently as 2017 that Minor opened its first hotel in India, launching Oaks Bodhgaya in the country’s north east. Now it is gaining traction, and later this year will launch Anantara Jaipur Hotel. A new office, staffed with new hires in Bengaluru will help improve the profile of the group, and drive more deals.

“We are bullish on the potential of India, and have already been overwhelmed with owner interest, but are proceeding with a ‘partnerships over properties’ approach,” said Amir Golbarg, SVP for Middle East, Africa and India for Minor Hotels. “It means we are being very selective in the hotels that we add to our portfolio, with our focus on cultivating meaningful alliances with partners who align with our values and vision.”

As a member of the Global Hotel Alliance, Minor is also interested in outbound Indian travellers, too. GHA, which features a global alliance of independent hotels, has more than 500,000 loyalty programme members in India, and their favoured international destinations are Europe, Thailand and Maldives – all destinations where Minor’s hotel brands feature strongly.

Keeping up with the leaders

Minor’s plans to grow in India match the aspirations of other international branded hotel players. At the beginning of May 2024, industry giant Marriott opened its 150th hotel in India, Marriott Katra Resort & Spa. The group has been doing business in the country for 25 years, and has 83 more hotels in the country already signed to its development pipeline. These include a Marriott Marquis and St Regis at Delhi Aerocity, a JW Marriott in Alibag, and a Ritz Carlton in Jaipur.

IHG Hotels & Resorts, too, has marked India as a key growth area for its portfolio. In 2023, the company signed 13 deals in India, with the aim of doubling its presence in the country within five years, taking it to 100 operating hotels.