Online travel tech platform EasyMyTrip has received in-principal approval from its board to establish a luxury five-star hotel in Ayodhya, India, via an investment from Jeewani Hospitality.
The proposed hotel is strategically located less than one kilometre from the recently inaugurated Shree Ram Mandir (Ram Temple), enhancing its potential to attract religious tourists.
The travel tech company plans to invest up to Rs1bn ($12.5m) in Jeewani Hospitality, which is spearheading the project under the Jeewani Group umbrella.
According to a stock exchange filing by EasyMyTrip, “This investment will represent 50% of the total paid-up share capital of the JV company on a fully diluted basis through equity swap, once finalised.”
Religious tourism in the area has shown significant growth, with 1,439 million tourists recorded in 2022.
By 2028, the sector is expected to generate revenues of approximately Rs59bn, with the potential to create up to 140 million jobs, both temporary and permanent, by the end of this decade.
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EaseMyTrip CEO and co-founder Nishant Pitti said, “We are delighted to announce our intent towards the newest Joint Venture, a lavish retreat that not only epitomises luxury but also cultivates a tranquil ambience amidst the dynamic religious ambience of Ayodhya.
“With over 2.4 million visitors flocking to Ayodhya following the Pran Pratishtha of the Ram Temple, the city has emerged as a prime investment destination for businesses to offer hospitality options tailored to tourists and inviting guests to delve into a spiritually fulfilling journey while relishing in top-notch hospitality.”
EasyMyTrip recently reported a 9.6% increase in net profit, reaching Rs456m for the December quarter of fiscal year 2024, up from Rs416m in the same period of the previous year. This growth is attributed to the robust demand in the travel sector.
The expansion into the hospitality industry in Ayodhya by EasyMyTrip coincides with similar moves by other hospitality giants. For instance, OYO has recently added 65 new properties in the city, following the consecration of the Ram Temple.
In December 2023, EaseMyTrip bought a non-controlling stake of 13.39% in Eco Hotels and Resorts in a share swap transaction.