STEENA JOY – Mumbai
From just Kerala and Lakshadweep, Kochi-based CGH Earth plans to spread its presence in Peninsula India – Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and possibly the Andamans. The plans also include a foray into the North East. Revealing this to Express TravelWorld, Jose Dominic, managing director, CGH Earth said,“We plan to open four or five small properties in the circuits of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan. We also plan to set up seven or eight properties (of not more than 30 rooms each) in the North East circuits covering Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Sikkim, Bhutan, West Bengal and Assam. But the expansion will not necessarily be implemented the normal way. We will use unconventional strategies that will involve communities as partners in progress,” he adds.
For example, in Nagaland he plans to adopt a village and then help the villagers build around 12 Naga cottages to which to which he will add certain modern amenities. The company will then manage, market and maintain these cottages so that they adhere to CGH Earth’s set standards. “We will impart training to the villagers and give them exposure to international hotel standards. I don’t believe that today’s traveller visits a country only for sightseeing. I will instead call him the Alert Independent Traveller (AIT) who is more of an experiential traveller, not just interested in places but also in discovering the local cuisine and culture,” he says. His expansion plan will use three modes: through community partnerships like in Nagaland; the conventional buy, built and operate properties and through public private partnerships.