Taj Hotel, Resorts & Palace logo displayed on top of Taj Samundra in Colombo
|Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris|
|Traded as||BSE: 500850
|Headquarters||Express Towers, Nariman Point, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India|
Number of locations
|Revenue||₹4,706.27 crore (US$720 million) (2016)|
|₹-60.53 crore (US$−9.3 million) (2016)|
|Total assets||₹10,944.57 crore (US$1.7 billion) (2016)|
The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), branded as Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris, is an international chain of hotels and resorts headquartered at Express Towers, Nariman Point in Mumbai. Incorporated by the founder of the Tata Group, Jamsetji Tata, in 1903, the company is a part of the Tata Group, one of India's largest business conglomerates. The company employed over 13,000 people in the year 2010.
As of 2017, the company operates a total of 99 hotels and hotel-resorts, with 83 across India and 16 in other countries, including Bhutan, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, UAE, UK, USA and Zambia
Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, founder of the Tata Group, opened the Taj Mahal Palace, a hotel in Mumbai (formerly called Bombay) overlooking the Arabian Sea, on 16 December 1903. It was the first Taj property and the first Taj hotel. There are several anecdotal stories about why Tata opened the Taj hotel. According to a story, he decided to open the hotel after an incident involving racial discrimination at the Watson's Hotel in Mumbai, where he was refused entry as the hotel permitted only Europeans. Hotels which accepted only European guests were very common across British India then. According to another story he opened the hotel when one of his friends expressed his disgust about the hotels which were present in Bombay then. But a more plausible reason was advanced by Lovat Fraser, a close friend of the Tata and one of the early directors of the IHCL group, that the idea had long been in his mind and that he had made a study on the subject. He did not have any desire to own a hotel but he wanted to attract people to India and to improve Bombay. It is said that Jamsetji Tata had travelled to places like London, Paris, Berlin and Düsseldorf to arrange for materials and pieces of art, furniture and interior artefacts for his hotel. The Taj group has since then developed and flourished, under the Tata Group.
In 1974, the group opened India's first international five star deluxe beach resort, the Fort Aguada Beach Resort in Goa. In 1970s, the Taj Group also began its business in metropolitan hotels, opening the five-star deluxe hotel, Taj Coromandel in Chennai, in 1974, acquiring an equity interest and operating contract for the Taj President (now Vivanta by Taj - President), a business hotel in Mumbai, in 1977, and also opening the Taj Mahal Hotel in Delhi in 1978.
The group has been converting royal palaces in India into luxury hotels since the 1970s. The first palace to be converted into a Taj luxury hotel was the Lake Palace in Udaipur, in 1971. Other examples include the Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad and Nadesar Palace in Varanasi.
In 1980, the Taj group opened its first hotel outside India, the Taj Sheba Hotel in Sana'a, in Yemen and in the late 1980s, acquired interests in the St. James' Court Hotel (now comprising Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences and St. James' Court, A Taj Hotel) in London. In 1984, the Taj group acquired, under a license agreement, each of the Taj West End in Bangalore, Taj Connemara (now Vivanta by Taj - Connemara) in Chennai and Savoy Hotel in Ooty. With the opening of the Taj West End in Bangalore, the Taj Group made its foray into Bangalore. The five star deluxe hotel, Taj Bengal in Kolkata, was opened in the year 1989, and with this the Taj group became the only hotel chain in India with a presence in the six major metropolitan cities of India, namely Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai.
Concurrently with the expansion of its luxury hotel chain in the major metropolitan cities, the Taj Group also expanded its business hotels division in the major metropolitan and large secondary cities in India. During the 1990s, the Taj Group continued to expand its geographic and market coverage in India. It developed specialized operations (such as wildlife lodges) and consolidated its position in established markets through the upgrading of existing properties and development of new properties. Taj also set up the Taj Kerala Hotels and Resorts Limited in the early 1990s along with the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation.
Two hotels of the Taj group, namely Rambagh Palace in Jaipur and the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower in Mumbai, were ranked in 2013 by Condé Nast Traveler among its "Top 100 Hotels and Resorts in the World". In late 2013, the Indian Traveller magazine ranked Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur and Taj Exotica Resort & Spa in Maldives as numbers 34 and 98, respectively, on its list of "100 Best Hotels & Resorts". Condé Nast Traveler also ranked the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai as number 13 on its list of "Gold Standard Hotels" in 2014.
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