29 May '11, 10am

innHotels.tel - India's pilgrim trail: a godsend for hotel chains

MUMBAI - INDIA'S pilgrimage centres are fast becoming hot-spots for hotel chains, as both domestic and international groups look to plug a gap in the market for quality accommodation. Devotees flocking to so-called 'temple towns' such as Shirdi in western Maharashtra state, the Sikh holy city of Amritsar in Punjab and far-flung Haridwar have for years had to make do with basic facilities. But a rise in disposable incomes and more Indians experiencing foreign travel - both the result of India's buoyant economy - have led to demand for more than just a bunk-bed in a community centre or floor space at a guesthouse. 'There was a time when people who were visiting these temple towns didn't have the money for quality accommodation,' the associate vice-president of Best Western India, Gaurav Sarin, told AFP. 'That's changed very drastically in the past few years. The people who a...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STISt...

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