Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) has signed a memorandum of cooperation with China-based Yunnan Tourism to form a joint venture to develop and manage two hotels in China.

IHCL will engage in the development, construction, operation and management of two properties in Kunming Expo Garden, which is situated in the Yunnan province. The hotels will be developed under the Taj and Vivanta by Taj brands. The new Taj hotel will have 200 rooms while the Vivanta by Taj property will have 300.

IHCL executive director Abhijit Mukerji said that his company’s presence in Kunming is critical because of its strategic location with access to the key markets of Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Laos.

"The entry of Taj and Vivanta by Taj brands in Kunming offers an exciting opportunity to establish the brands in the Chinese market," said Mukerji.

According to IHCL, the memorandum of cooperation was achieved through the support of its representative Strategic European Investment Management in China.

Taj already has a management contract for the Taj Temple of Heaven Beijing hotel and will manage a 300-room resort on Hainan Island.

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In January 2011, IHCL revealed plans to add 43 new hotels with around 10,000 rooms to its portfolio over the next four years. The hotel group will open the new properties across its six brands in the luxury, premium, mid-market and value segments.