Hoteliers such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (HOT) and Hyatt Hotels Corp. (H) intend to explore the growth potential in the Indian market.

Starwood has announced yesterday that it is on track to expand its Indian portfolio. Currently, the company has 26 hotels in India. It intends to increase this portfolio 60% by 2013. Starwood is currently developing 15 hotels in India, of which 3 are scheduled to open this year.

Besides Starwood, Hyatt also announced Tuesday its plan to multiply in the Indian market. This year, the company would open Hyatt Regency Pune, Hyatt Regency Chennai and Grand Hyatt Goa.

Hyatt also plans to expand into 15 new markets in India over the next 5 years. The company also said that about one-fourth of its global pipeline of more than 120 properties is assigned for India.

The demand for hotels in the international market is greater than in the U.S., and the pace of economic recovery is particularly fast in the Asia-Pacific region. Besides China, the hoteliers are expecting the Indian market to offer significant possibilities for growth.

The demand for hotels in the Indian market considerably outpaces the supply. Additionally, India is expected to experience a meaningful increase in gross domestic product (GDP) in the next few years. The burgeoning of the middle income group also results in an increase in domestic travel and efforts are underway to increase international tourism.

Shares of Starwood increased 63 cents or 1.31% to $48.65 during Tuesday’s regular session on the New York Stock Exchange.

News of Hyatt’s expansion, however, came after the market closed. Prior to that, the shares of Hyatt decreased 16 cents or 0.41% to $38.99 during the regular session on Tuesday on the on the New York Stock Exchange.
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