Boosting Tourism in India by Renovating/ Reselling Heritage Buildings

Opportunity Snapshot

  • Country: India India
  • Industry: Tourism, Recreation
  • Stage: Seed
  • Investment size: $3,500,000 / min. $1,500,000
  • Type of investment: Debt

Investment Opportunity

I want to set up a business that buys / takes on lease old neglected buildings with a colonial / credible history and potential to renovate and re-use.

After the renovation we will either put the buildings in use or find a buyer who can use them better. The objective is to conserve and promote the Indian nature and cultural heritage to tourists, as well as to foster the entertainment industry worldwide.

The interest in Historical buildings and the availability of wonderful properties presents us with an opportunity to concentrate on. Tourism in India has been on the rise and is expected to emerge as the most important revenue earner for India in the years to come. Heritage & Nature tourism has emerged as one of the niche segments of tourism in India and worldwide. It is often offered in combination with other elements like Religion, Wildlife, Ecotourism, Adventure, Tribal & Rural tourism.

These beautiful properties are either in the control of the government which happily welcomes existing or new players to take charge or they are in private hands - mostly descendants of former rulers who are willing to sell them off. More than anything else there is the satisfaction of having preserved a piece of history.

Most of the properties are located in important tourist circuits and are still unexplored. The Indian State of Rajasthan has been a world class example of exploiting the royal heritage they carry - the increasing number of domestic and foreign tourists every year is a testimony of that.

Right now, I would like to set up an enterprise, which buys old neglected buildings with a potential to renovate and re-use. The idea is to acquire or get a long-term lease of 60 to 90 years and then spend 1 to 2 years to renovate and then to either put the buildings into use or find a buyer who can use them better.
My plan is to start from the Central Indian region (Madhya Pradesh) as it carries nature, heritage, wildlife and tribal wealth second to none in India. Till date it remains pretty unexplored, however the government's efforts in the past few years have started showing positive results with more than 300% growth in tourists to central India. The plan is to acquire the properties, renovate them and then promote then as:
1) Heritage hotels and resorts to the tourist circuit.
2) Destination for shooting films and commercials to the media and entertainment industry.
3) Retiring homes to foreign tourists.
4) Destination for organizing distinguished festivals of Indian origin once in a year.

Business Model: We plan to operate with 2 business models as our revenue sources, defined below:

1) Conducting hospitality business through our hotels and resorts.

2) Buying and selling heritage properties post renovation.

Competitive Advantage

• Absence of competition in untapped / unexplored areas and availability of properties in these areas;
• Being the first to promote tribal and rural tourism in central India;
• Government Support to bring the state on the tourist circuit;
• Flexible business model catering to variety of tourist & industry segments.

The objective is to offer a broad spectrum to tourists by integrating nature, cultural, heritage, rural and tribal tourism. It will go a long way to meet the aspirations of tourist mindsets.

Rationale for the deal

The state of Madhya Pradesh is centrally located and very well connected by road, rail and air. It houses well know tribal areas, 3 World Heritage sites, more than a dozen wildlife national parks famous for tiger spotting, renowned religious places and picturesque mountain range.

Presently, few very good heritage properties strategically located on the tourist literariness are available for sale / lease. However, the properties are limited and hence time is of essence.

According to various estimates, heritage tourism contributes well over 60 percent to the overall share of tourists in India, both domestic and foreigners. An interesting aspect of this, however, is that almost 80 percent of foreign tourists visiting India restrict themselves to the Golden Triangle (Delhi-Jaipur-Agra) and Rajasthan, an area quite rich in heritage monuments. This comes as a surprise considering places like Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh have so many beautiful heritage monuments, mountain range, wildlife national parks, etc. This, however, also presents huge untapped opportunities for heritage tourism. Even if a fraction of the potential of these states is tapped it can do wonders.

Use of financing

Funds will be used for the following:
1) Acquisition of the property
2) Renovation of the property
3) Creating infrastructure and safe environment for tourists.
4) Branding and Promotion.
5) Operation and maintenance of the unit.

Being a hospitality business the cash flows will be slightly late. However the ROI is 100% over a invested period of 5 to 6 years.

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