Tune to open by 3Q2010

PETALING JAYA: Tune is looking to open its first hotel in London – Tune at 118 Westminster Bridge Road – in the heart of London by the third quarter of this year.

This opening will kickstart the group’s plan to open 15 hotels in London, United Kingdom by 2017 offering some 1,500 rooms, through a partnership with London-based Queensway Group Limited with a total investment of £150 million (RM746 million).

Its group chief executive Mark Lankester said in a statement on Monday March 15 that the investment sets the tone for the group’s global expansion.

“From London, we have already set our eyes on Europe, the Middle East and America. The London profile lends us so much higher credibility and reputation and it plants a flagpole in one of the most visited cities in the world, which will be a springboard for further and more rapid potential partnerships globally,” he added.

Queensway Group is a UK-based private investment group owning and operating hospitality assets in the UK, Europe and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The UK venture is part of Tune’s target of operating 100 hotels globally by 2015. It has also forged strategic partnerships with Apodis Hospitality Group for 20 hotels in India by 2012. Five hotels are targeted to be operational by December 2010 while the rest are scheduled for opening in stages up to 2012. Initial hotels are likely to be located in and around Amritsar, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Indore, Jodhpur, Kochi, Mumbai, Pune, Pipavav, Raipur, Thiruvananthapuram and Tiruchirapally.

Meanwhile, 44 more hotels will be opened across Thailand, China, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Indonesia under a partnership with Evolution Capital PCL, a real estate investment advisory firm listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

Some 24 of the 44 planned hotels with Evolution Capital are in development from early 2010 and targeted to be operational by 2012 with staggered roll-out of the subsequent 20 hotels through 2013.

Tune targets 3Q2010 opening

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