Hotel operator Hilton offered an upbeat view of Myanmar’s economic prospects, particularly for its tourism sector, as it provided an update on its Hilton Times City hotel project at a press conference on Aug. 29.
The 308-room hotel is due to open in 2021 in the compound of the Times City mixed-used complex, located between Hanthawaddy and Kyun Taw roads in Yangon’s Kamayut Township. It will be Hilton’s first hotel in Myanmar’s commercial capital.
Citing the Asian Development Bank’s economic growth forecast of 6.6% for Myanmar this year, as well the 7 million annual tourist arrivals projected for 2020, regional general manager Peter Webster said Hilton Times City was well positioned to tap such growth.
“Overall, we see more investments and increased market confidence in the government’s accelerated economic reforms, with the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration reporting more than US$3.5 billion [5.33 trillion kyats] in foreign direct investments pumped into the country as of the end of July,” he said.
In January, Hilton signed a management agreement with Myanmar partners Crown Advanced Construction Co., Ltd. to build and operate Hilton Times City Yangon.
Veronique Sirault, a Hilton manager with responsibility for several hotels in Myanmar, said the location was chosen for its proximity to both Yangon International Airport and the central business district. She added that Hilton plans to open hotels near the ancient city of Bagan in Mandalay Region, as well as Shan State’s Inle Lake “in the coming years”.
This year, the government announced that visa restrictions would be relaxed for several European countries to increase tourist arrivals. Sirault said this development, as well as the government’s recently launched tourism campaign, “Myanmar, Be Enchanted”, would attract more international visitors to Myanmar.
The company established the Hilton Vocational Training Center in 2015 in partnership with Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism to provide training to young Myanmar talent who are keen to build a career in hospitality. The second batch of students will be graduating this September, and the company is expected to welcome its third intake in the final quarter of this year.
Hilton also announced that its Hilton Nay Pyi Taw will be the first hotel in Asia Pacific to host a US Embassy liaison office, starting next year. The office will serve as the official presence of the US government in the capital.