Hospitality firm Whitbread is spending £150 million in a bid to break the Indian market with its budget hotel brand Premier Travel Inn.

The company aims to develop 80 of the budget hotelsin the country over the next 10 years having signed a 50:50 joint venture agreement with Indian developer Emaar-MGF.

Key target locations include Chennai, Goa, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Delhi.

Whitbread chief executive Alan Parker said the company’s budget brand would “fill a gap” in India’s hotel market. 

“The pace of economic development in India is quite phenomenal; and importantly for us there is rapid growth in both business and leisure travel markets,” he said.

The global development alliance for Premier Travel Inn is the second in as many years for Whitbread, which last year partnered with Emirates to develop the budget brand in the Gulf region. The first site in Dubai is scheduled to open in spring 2008.