Accor Hotels, a French multinational hotel group, announced yesterday that it has signed three new management contracts with Western hotel chains that will be entering the Cambodian market for the first time.
Accor’s economy brand, Ibis Styles, is scheduled to open up shop in Siem Reap sometime next year, while its mid-range brand Novotel plans to launch in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. The Novotel hotels have not yet announced opening dates.
Patrick Basset, COO of Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and the Philippines at Accor SA, explained that the decision to expand in the Kingdom was a result of healthy GDP growth, an increase in international tourist arrivals and better international flight connectivity.
Currently, Accor has management contracts to run luxury-based Sofitel and Raffles hotel brands. Basset stressed that Accor’s expansion was to help bring more affordable brands here.
“We do not have mid-scale representation here yet,” he said. “These new hotels will allow us to diversify ourselves.”
He added that the three new hotels are expected to provide roughly 600 jobs in the hospitality sector, supplementing the already 1,200 jobs offered at the four Accor-managed hotels currently operational in the Kingdom.
Kuy Vat, president and CEO of VTrust Group, said yesterday that western brand hotels establishing a presence in Cambodia shows solid progress in developing the country’s hospitality sector.
He added that an increased inflow of foreign tourists to the Kingdom has had a positive impact on the economy, and that the demand for accommodation services for tourists continues to grow.
He said this is the perfect time for western hotels and world-renowned brands to be entering the local market.
“Basic infrastructure in the hotel industry is improving very fast, and this is essential to attract new investment,” he said, adding that the tourism sector has benefitted from improvements to roads and utility services.
“Cambodia’s image is improving, and I believe that the arrival of famous hotel brands will further help our country to become more known internationally,” Vat said.
Additional reporting Hor Kimsay