Few people know that the ITC Limited of today was once an abbreviation of the Imperial Tobacco Company of India Limited under the ownership of the East India Company. Over a period of time the ownership became Indianised and the ITC Limited we know now came shaped up from 1974. ITC Limited has ventured into various markets of consumer goods including Foods, Personal Care, Education and stationery products, Information Technology, Apparel, Agri- business etc. to name a few. It has left an indelible mark in the Indian market through its advent into the hospitality sector through the ITC Group of Hotels.
The motive of the company for entering the hospitality sector with the ‘Welcom’ group was simple: to create tourist infrastructure and gain high levels of foreign exchange for the country. Creating employment, direct and indirect, was also an agenda of ITC Limited, and this business was launched by the acquisition of a hotel in Chennai renamed as ITC Welcomgroup Hotel Chola in 1975. Since then ITC Hotels has become the 2nd largest hotel chain in India with over 100 hotels in major cities of India like Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Ahmadabad, Kolkata, Agra, Jaipur, Aurangabad, Jodhpur etc. and its Headquarters in ITC Green Centre in Gurgaon.
It is divided into four distinctive brands- The Luxury Collection, WelcomHotels and Sheraton, WelcomHeritage and Fortune. There are several divisions within these brands as ITC Hotels has come to be known for its distinctive taste in culture and heritage, and a coming together of the new and the old, the East and the West.
The Luxury Collection has a group of Hotels modeled with architectural grandeur of the greatest dynasties and cultures in India such as the Chola dynasty in Chennai, the Maurya dynasty in Delhi, Mughal dynasty in Agra, Rajput dynasty in Jaipur and even a celebration of British architecture and culture. WelcomHotels and Fortune Hotels aim at combining luxury with efficiency and providing 5 star accommodations at affordable prices. WelcomHeritage is a group of hotels and resorts in unique heritage sites such as forts, palaces, havelis, houseboats etc. that provide not just accommodation, but experiences.
Despite the distinctive luxury and extravagance provided by ITC Hotels, it has come to pioneer the idea of ‘Responsible Luxury’ in the hospitality sector, integrating sustainable, eco-friendly practices into their brand of luxury and services, to send out the message that luxury need not be enjoyed at the cost of the Environment.
After four decades of progressive growth and brand establishment in the Indian hospitality market, ITC Hotels has now taken the route of international expansion with an upcoming luxury hotel in Colombo and tie-ups with the Gulf based RP group of Hotels and resorts of forthcoming ventures in Dubai.
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