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Best Western International to open its first hotel in Myanmar

November 30, 2013 Headline News, Hotel News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59The hotel chain Best Western International has signed a deal to take over management of the Green Hill Hotel, a centrally-located property in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon.

Best Western says it is the first U.S. hotel company to venture into the emerging territory.

The Southeast Asian country, now known as Myanmar, had been closed off to most tourists for years. But two years after the government released Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi from 15 years of house arrest, the tourism industry is booming. A series of government reforms has also facilitated HotelStylish250x250more foreign investment.

A record million visitors traveled to Myanmar last year, two-thirds of them vacationers. That is expected to increase 30% in 2013. There are now fewer than 800 hotels to accommodate those travelers, and most of them are below international standards.

The Green Hill Hotel will be operated by Best Western International under its mid-scale Best Western brand.

“There is no doubt that Myanmar is one of the world’s hottest hotel markets at present, with a major increase in new hotel supply needed to cater for a huge influx of guests,” Glenn de Souza, Best Western’s vice president of international operations for Asia and the Middle East, said in a written statement. “So it is vital that hotel owners in the country choose the right partners to ensure optimum performance at their properties.”

Bruce Ford, senior vice president and director of business development at Lodging Econometrics, a hotel real estate consulting firm, said it will take time for Western and U.S. hotel brands to become a large presence in a country that they have been shut out of for so long.

“It will take time to build the supply there because there are not many locations that could be converted,” he said. “Newly constructed hotels may be 3 to 4 years in the making.”

But, he said, the interest is there. “Many major franchise companies would love to find locations and sites to bring into their family of brands because of the change in foreign investment laws,” he said.

Glenn de Souza said Best Western is committed to a long-term investment in Myanmar.

“Best Western International wants to form long and lasting partnerships in Myanmar, We want to be here for the long-term, to help grow the country’s tourism industry,” he said. “Our partnership with the Green Hill Hotel is just the start of our plans for Myanmar.”

The Green Hill Hotel has189 air-conditioned rooms, all equipped with 32-inch flat-screen televisions, bathrooms with bathtubs and showers, and complimentary Wi-Fi. The property has a contemporary restaurant with Asian and other international cuisine and meeting rooms for business travelers.

Written by : Reinhard Hohler

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