InterContinental signs Ruposhi Bangla deal

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), a leading global hotel chain, yesterday signed an agreement to take over the operations and management of Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in Dhaka.
Under the deal, the hotel will undergo extensive renovations in the next two years. It will then be handed over to IHG for a period of 30 years.
IHG will take 2 percent of the hotel’s total revenue in the first 3 years, 2.5 percent for the 4th and 5th years and 3 percent from then on in management fee, the civil aviation ministry said in a statement.
It said the UK-based hotel group will also get up to 10 percent of the net profit as incentives, according to the statement.
Md Atharul Islam, the civil aviation and tourism secretary, Lutfur Rahman, managing director of Bangladesh Services Ltd (BSL), and Christopher James Moloney, chief operating officer (south-west Asia) of InterContinental Hotels, signed the deal.
Ruposhi Bangla posted Tk 99.25 crore in gross revenue and Tk 16 crore in net profit in 2010, according to the statement.
Moloney said InterContinental is truly an international hotel brand with 170 hotels in operation in 60 countries. He said IHG will start more hotels in South Asia as it has 48 hotels in the pipeline in the region.
The hotel will initially be operated and managed as Ruposhi Bangla Hotel prior to its re-branding. He said the hotel will be re-branded as InterContinental Dhaka in 2014 after the renovation works are completed.
At the event, Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Faruk Khan said the hotel has a very unique place in the history of Bangladesh as it had a historic role in the birth of the country.
He said the government has already laid emphasis on developing the tourism sector as the country is being prioritised by tourists and investors in the sector.
“I believe this deal will enable Ruposhi Bangla to be an iconic hotel in the world,” said the minister.
Md Atharul Islam, who is also the chairman of BSL, said: “Bangladesh can be a haven for tourists if we can facilitate the vibrant private sector and build world-class infrastructure.”
He hopes it will be an iconic hotel and a profitable establishment in the country. “We are hopeful that IHG and BSL will work together and deliver wonderful service to the clients, and will also create a centre of excellence in the hospitality sector.”
The company said the hotel, which is located in a prime spot in Dhaka, will be prepared to deliver the highest quality of services to guests.
It will feature larger guest rooms in conformity with 5-star requirements, an all-day dining restaurant, two specialty restaurants, a deli bar and InterContinental Club Lounge.
It will also have a number of facilities such as a business centre, ballroom, convention centre and multiple meeting rooms.
IHG ran the state-owned hotel from 1966 to 1983. Sheraton took over its operations and management in 1983 for the next 25 years, ending its tenure in December 2008.
Sheraton, however, had to continue operations until April 30, 2011, as Bangladesh was co-hosting the World Cup Cricket matches at that time.
Starwood, the owning company of Sheraton, gave BSL a conditional extension offer to terminate all hotel employees during renovation in 2009. But the government agency did not agree with the condition, leading BSL to take over operations under the new banner of Ruposhi Bangla.
Ruposhi Bangla now employs 600 officials, of whom 400 are permanent, according to an official.
IHG is the largest hotel chain in the world measured in terms of the number of rooms at 658,000. It has 4,480 hotels in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world.
It operates seven hotel brands — InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites.

-With The Daily Star input

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