With tourism numbers to Cambodia increasing year-on-year, more investors are looking to capitalise on the country’s huge potential for growth. Words by Kate Burbidge.
Hotel Okura Co. Ltd announced on February 9 that it has signed a contract with TEHO Development Cambodia Pte. Ltd. to develop and manage The Okura Prestige Phnom Penh, a luxury hotel scheduled to open in the capital in 2019. Hotel Okura will be the first Japanese hotel chain to enter Cambodia’s rapidly growing luxury travel market.
At the recent ASEAN Tourism Forum held in Manila from January 20 to 22, Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism, announced that the number of international visitors hit an all-time high of 4.8 million in 2015, a rise of 6 percent compared with 2014.
The new venture will enable Hotel Okura to engage effectively with this burgeoning market and boost Hotel Okura’s push to increase its group portfolio past 100 worldwide locations. By 2018, the company plans to open four more hotels in including Nikko Hotels International branches in Taizhou and Bangkok.
“We are greatly honoured to bring our hotel to Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s vibrant centre of economy and commerce and a hub between Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok,” said Toshihiro Ogita, president of Hotel Okura. “We hope that visitors and locals alike will love The Okura Prestige Phnom Penh and that our brand will flourish alongside the people of Cambodia and ASEAN.”
The establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in December 2015 has created an integrated market of US$2.6 trillion and over 620 million people. As an ASEAN member state, Cambodia is promoting economic development and setting up Special Economic Zones to attract foreign companies, especially in Phnom Penh.
The proposed 40-story, 250-room hotel will be part of The Bay, a residential and commercial satellite community being built on the tip of the Chroy Changvar Peninsula at the confluence of the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers. The location, which is just 17 kilometres (10.6 miles) from Phnom Penh International Airport, will provide the hotel with panoramic views of the city and the Royal Palace.
In February 2015 Hotel Okura signed an agreement with TEHO Development Cambodia upon which the contract for the new hotel is based. TEHO Development Cambodia is a subsidiary of Singapore-listed multinational solutions provider TEHO International. The contract will be transferred to Okura Nikko Hotel Management Co. Ltd, the Okura Nikko group’s hotel management subsidiary operation.