Taj Group promoted hospitality major – Indian Hotels Company Limited, the parent company of Taj Hotels, has made its foray into the plantation trails and homestay segment with their new business vertical ‘Ama Trails and Stays’, on February 19.
The largest hotel chain claimed that they are the first branded chain in the homestay market in the country. The new brand will have two segments Ama Plantation Trails and Ama Fine Homestays. The company has signed management contract with nine heritage bungalows with group firm Tata Coffee in Coorg and Chikmanglur in Karnataka. They plan to add two more bungalows by mid next year in the Ama umbrella.
The move into this segment comes when global players like Airbnb and other start-ups like Saffron Stays are fast establishing their presence in the market. Indians have just started catching up with this trend which is already quite popular in the European and American markets. Nowadays a lot of people prefer homestay to traditional hotels as it gives them a better chance to connect with the locals and learn their culture firsthand.
IHCL MD and CEO, Puneet Chhatwal said that the bungalows will have basic amenities and some might even have butler service, like a home away from home. Their current plan is to convert heritage bungalows and properties owned by the Taj Group into homestays. He says that they are starting with 11 bungalows but plan to scale up to 100 such properties by the end of year 2020. He also opened up about their plan to open a minimum of one hotel every month in domestic as well as international markets, starting with the Cidade de Goa in April.
The bookings for the Ama Plantation Trail are set to open from March 1.