THE TAJ Group of hotels is planning a foray in the heritage hotel segment across Uttar Pradesh. The group has proposed to set up heritage hotels across all important tourism circuits in the state.
The UP government has identified 15 heritage properties currently owned by the Maharajas in the state. The palaces and the havellis identified will be converted into hotels and most of these would be managed by the Taj group.
It is understood that Taj group is also planning a major five star hotel at Noida in UP.
Sources close to the management said that Ratan Tata, chairman of the Taj group, and Rajnath Singh, chief minister, had a closed-door meeting at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai on May 15.
The Tatas have committed to develop the heritage circuit around Benares and a chain of heritage hotels across the state, officials close to the CM told ET.
Besides the Taj group, other individual hotel groups too have evinced interest in setting up similar hotels, they said. Despite several attempts made by ET, officials at the Taj group declined to comment on the proposed venture.
The 15 heritage hotels outlined by the state are in tourism related zones like Jhansi, Jalan, Agra, Allahabad, Lucknow, Dudhwa (known for wild life), Gorakhapur and the Buddhist circuit near Kushi Nagar.
Taj Group, a decade ago, had a similar tie-up with Kerala and the Taj today owns six hotels in the state. The tie-up with UP is however likely to be on a much larger scale.
Following this move, the UP state government and the Tatas may together get on a marketing bliztkrieg to promote the state over the long term period.
Taj is believed to be exploring UP for its untapped tourism potential and the group will have a niche in the state as it will be the only major chain across the state.