WYNDHAM Worldwide has partnered Unique Mercantile India to bring American brand Howard Johnson, popularly known as HoJo, to India, with a plan to establish 35 mid-market hotels in the country by 2020.
The first HoJo is scheduled to open in 2Q2014 in Bengaluru, located near major corporate offices and offering 117 rooms and suites with an outdoor swimming pool, a spa, fitness centre and conference space.
HoJo is a 60-year-old brand with 500 properties worldwide. Unique Mercantile India will invest Rs20 billion (US$329.5 million) to grow the brand in India.
Unique’s director, Rahul Rai, said: “We aim to invest in both incomplete and existing hotels which are not performing very well, to convert them into HoJo properties with international standard services.
“We chose Bengaluru for the first property as the city has embraced all international brands enthusiastically.”
Smitha Prasad, regional manager for business development of Bengaluru-based Comfort Leisure, said: “HoJo is a very well-known American brand with good recall for the business traveller.
“Since the features of the HoJos in India will be designed to appeal to the local market, we expect to see a large number of Indian business travellers and North American travellers to India patronising this brand across the country.
“Credible mid-market brands like HoJo will be a resounding success in India.”