Malaysian-owned Sunway Hotels & Resorts will spend $223 million in a redevelopment and expansion plan on its hotels in Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam within three years, according to Malaysian media.
About $135.3 million of that will be used for new investments while the remainder will be spent on refurbishments and expansion.
Sarena Cheah, the managing director of Sunway Bhd’s property division, said the hospitality group would have about 3,500 rooms in Southeast Asia by 2018.
“This substantial reinvestment is the largest expansion plan for Sunway Group’s hospitality division in recent years,” she said. “We are looking to support the region’s increasingly robust business exchanges, corporate travel and leisure tourist markets.”
Tith Chantha, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Tourism, said the expansion plan reflected Cambodia’s booming tourism market and strong economy and the country’s growing demand for luxury hotels.
“Now, we have high demand for luxury hotels like Sunway. I think that the company already made a detailed and clear study before making the decision to expand their investment here. Clearly, they believe in our social and political stability and economic improvement,” Mr. Chantal said.
“You see that the number of foreign tourists arriving in our country increasing ever year – so they clearly see potential here.”
The Sunway Hotel Phnom Penh, which is located in the heart of the city, is an international four-star hotel with 138 rooms and suites.
Mr. Chantal said that although there are a many hotels in Phnom Penh, the number of luxury rooms is still limited.
“Of course, in Phnom Penh, we have a lot of low-grade hotels but we don’t have many four or five-star hotels, “he said. “We need more investment in the luxury ones. Phnom Penh city is not only serving tourists but many executives come here for business or for conferences.”
Din Somethearith, president of the Cambodia Hotel Association, told Khmer Times recently that about 20 large and mid-sized hotels opened in Phnom Penh last year and that the number was higher in Siem Reap. Mr. Somethearith said there are five five-star hotels in the capital, about 20 four-star hotels and hundreds of three-star hotels.
Upon completion of the three-year plan in the second quarter of 2018, the Sunway group will own and operate 11 hotels, nine of which are in Malaysia and one each in Cambodia and Vietnam.
Last year, about 4.8 million foreign tourists visited Cambodia, up from 4.5 a year earlier.