Kempinski rides the hotel boom in Yangon

After unveiling its first Myanmar property in Nay Pyi Taw, Berlin-based Kempinski Hotels will build up its presence in Yangon in the next few years.

According to an announcement by Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), a US$60 million financial support was granted for the renovation of an old building in Yangon into the Kempinski Hotel.

The renovation will be handled jointly by Thailand-based Kanok Furniture and Decoration and Myanmar’s JL Group.

“The renovation … is in preparation for tourism and service industry growth in Myanmar, with the project slated for completion by 2016,” the bank said.

SCB’s single largest shareholder is Thailand Crown Property Bureau. Since 2004, the bureau has been responsible for administering the property of the Royal House of Thailand and at the same time possesses holdings in numerous companies in Thailand and abroad. It also has a majority holding in Kempinski AG.

The renovation financial support contract was signed recently at SCB headquarters in Bangkok, in the presence of Thaug Htike Min, vice chairman of JL Group; and Supalak Foong, director of Kanok Furniture and Decoration.

Kanok Furniture has provided interior decoration services to over 200 hotel and serviced apartment projects. Supported by a long portfolio of projects in Thailand, it is now stepping overseas with major interior decoration projects in several countries including Cambodia, China and India. In Myanmar, it has secured three decoration projects – Escape Avenir Serviced Apartment, Micasa Hotel & Service Apartment and YKK Gold Hill Tower. All are in Yangon.

In a recent report in the Myanmar Times, JL Group vice chair Thaung Htike Min was quoted as saying the old building is a Small Claims Court building on Strand Road. He also said Kempinski HOTEL IN Yangon would open in 2017 with 239 rooms, and is expected to create about 500 jobs.

International hotel chains are flocking into the country, which is drawing new investment and visitors. Low supply means high HOTEL ROOM rates, which according to New Crossroads Asia, a Singapore-based financial advisory firm, should not fall soon.

The firm’s recently-released report “All That Matters” showed that Myanmar’s HOTEL ROOM rates, which average about US$160 per night, should remain unchanged in the medium term due to the slow completion of new properties and continued influx of visitors. Occupancy rate in the country is about 80 per cent.

According to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism there are only five five-star hotels and 18 four-star HOTELS INMyanmar. Yangon has just 204 hotels, with a total of 9,000 rooms, data from the ministry shows.

Under the Myanmar Tourism Master Plan, 7.49 million tourists are expected to arrive in 2020, against 3 million this year, and they will then generate more than $10 billion in revenue. This year, the country is on track to welcome 3 million visitors.

Source: The Nation

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