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Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces renewed strategy - a greater focus on China

Signs more hotels in China and expands presence in one of the world's leading tourism markets

January 9, 2012

New Delhi, January 9, 2012: - The Indian Hotels Company Limited today signed a Memorandum of Co-operation for a Joint Venture with Yunnan Tourism Co. Ltd ( A subsidiary of Yunnan Expo Tourism Holding Limited) to engage in development, construction, operation and management of two hotels in Kunming Expo Garden, situated in Yunnan province of southwest China. The agreement was signed by Mr. Abhijit Mukerji, Executive Director, The Indian Hotels Company Limited and Mr. Ge Bao-rong - General Manager, Yunnan Tourism Co. Ltd. in the presence of the Chinese Ambassador to India, His Excellency Mr Zhang Yan.

Mr. Abhijit Mukerji, Executive Director, The Indian Hotels Company Limited said "The Indian Hotel Company's presence in Kunming is critical for our selective global expansion plan because of its strategic location with access to key markets like Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Laos. It is a major communication and transport hub in China having good connectivity with the domestic Chinese tourism circuit. The entry of Taj and Vivanta by Taj brands in Kunming offers an exciting opportunity to establish the brands in the Chinese market.

Taj already has management contracts in place for a landmark hotel, Taj Temple of Heaven Beijing, in close proximity to the Temple of Heaven Park in Beijing. A key tourist destination, The Temple of Heaven Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was constructed between 1406 and 1420 and used by Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Taj will also manage a 300-key luxury resort in Hainan Island, the premium resort destination in China. This MoC has been done with the support of Strategic European Investment Management Ltd (SEIM) who is the representative of IHCL in China."

Mr. Ge Bao-rong - General Manager, Yunnan Tourism Co. Ltd said, "We are delighted to partner with The Indian Hotels Company Limited to bring the Taj legendary service to the Yunnan province and China. We are confident that their expertise of the Indian and international markets combined with our understanding of the Chinese market will be immensely helpful in developing world class hotels at the historical Kunming Expo Garden".

The Taj hotel will have approximately 200 keys. Taj (luxury full-service hotels, resorts and palaces) is our flagship brand for the world's most discerning travelers seeking authentic experiences given that luxury is a way of life to which they are accustomed. Spanning world-renowned landmarks, modern business hotels, idyllic beach resorts, authentic grand palaces and pastoral rustic safari lodges, each Taj hotel reinterprets the tradition and hospitality in a refreshingly modern way to create unique experiences and lifelong memories. Taj also encompasses a unique set of iconic properties rooted in history and tradition that deliver truly unforgettable experiences.

The 'Vivanta by Taj' hotel will have approximately 300 keys. Vivanta by Taj Hotels & Resorts span options for the work-hard-play-hard traveller across metropolitan cities, other commercially important centres as well as some of the best-loved vacation spots. Stylish and sophisticated, Vivanta by Taj delivers premium hotel experiences with imagination, energy and efficiency. It's the flavour of contemporary luxury, laced with cool informality and the charming Taj hospitality.

Apart from the renowned Taj hospitality both the hotels will offer high end accommodations, signature restaurants, banqueting facilities and Jiva Spa, Taj's acclaimed Indian and all natural spa.

Kunming, a major city in Southwest China, is a Gateway to China connecting Southeast Asia, South Asia, Middle East, Europe and Africa. It is just a two hours flight from Kolkata, India. Kunming's Changshui International airport is the one of the top four airports in China, which will start to operate in 2012. Changshui International airport will help guests coming from Southeast Asia and South Asia to Yunnan and China. Kunming is in the Yunnan Province. Yunnan Province, due to its beautiful landscapes, mild climate and colorful ethnic minorities, is one of China's major tourist destinations. Most visitors are Chinese tourists, although trips to Yunnan are organized by an increasing number of foreign travel agencies as well. 2.75 million Chinese visited Yunnan last October during a National Holiday .Tourist centres in Yunnan include Shangri-La County , an ethnic Tibetan township and county set high in Yunnan's north-western mountains. It also includes Dali, the historic center of the Nanzhao and Dali kingdoms and Lijiang, a Naxi minority city which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.

In close proximity to Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, the World Horticultural Expo Garden, is the venue for the 1999 Kunming International Horticulture Exposition. As the only remains of International Horticulture Exposition, Kunming Expo Garden has a slew of Guinness world records like the largest in area, the fastest in pace of construction and the most in species of plants on display.

About Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces

Established in 1903, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is one of Asia's largest and finest group of hotels, comprising 93 hotels in 53 locations across India with an additional 16 international hotels in the Maldives, Malaysia, Australia, UK, USA, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Africa and the Middle East. From world-renowned landmarks to modern business hotels, idyllic beach resorts to authentic Grand Palaces, each Taj hotel offers an unrivalled fusion of warm Indian hospitality, world-class service and modern luxury. For over a century, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, the iconic flagship has set a benchmark for fine living with exquisite refinement, inventiveness and warmth. Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is part of the Tata Group, India's premier business house.

About Yunnan Expo-Tourism Holdings Co Ltd and Yunnan Tourism Co Ltd

Yunnan Expo-Tourism Holdings Co., Ltd. is a State-owned enterprise, which focus on tourism industry, modern service industry and conferences and exhibits industry and tourism real estate etc. It is the largest, most complete and sustainable tourism company with the strongest financing capacity in Yunnan Province.

Yunnan Tourism Co., Ltd. is a subsidiary of Yunnan Expo Tourism Holdings Limited. It launched its IPO at Shenzhen Stock Exchange Institute with stock code 002059. Yunnan Tourism Co., Ltd. is principally engaged in investment and managment of scenic places, garden and horticultural products, tourism property investment, bio-products development and tourism trade.

For further information please contact Rediffusion/Edelman :
Nafisa Islam: nafisa.islam@edelman.com
Saloni Kumari: saloni.kumari@edelman.com

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