As Cambodia and the rest of the world move to revive tourism, Pan Pacific Hotels Group (PPHG), a member of Singapore-listed UOL Group Ltd, plans to open two developments in the Kingdom over October-December 2023, in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
The hospitality player is expanding its global brand footprint in an apparent bid to bank on anticipated growth in tourism over the next few years, as the world emerges from a Covid-induced slump.
“The 212-room Pan Pacific Phnom Penh will be situated centrally in the bustling Norodom Boulevard, while the 130-room Parkroyal Siem Reap will be a 10-minute drive from the gates of Angkor Wat,” PPHG said in a statement on September 22.
These are among 13 new properties in the pipeline up to 2024 that were announced by the hospitality firm, across 10 key gateway cities such as London, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Dalian and Hanoi.
PPHG intends to open the Pan Pacific Orchard in October-December next year, which it bills as “Singapore’s first zero-waste hotel”.
The “verdant retreat” will feature “foliage covering more than 300 per cent of hotel’s land area” along with four “thematic sky gardens”, it said.
“To fulfil its zero-waste promise, the 350-room hotel will employ a rainwater harvesting system, a recyclable water system, and a compactor that transforms food waste into nutrient water for the hotel’s sky gardens,” it added.
Parkroyal Serviced Suites Hanoi is expected to open in March, in the Westlake area, featuring 126 suites with lake views.
Pacific Asia Travel Association Cambodia chapter chairman Thourn Sinan welcomed PPHG’s debut in Cambodia, lauding the development as a reflection of the Kingdom’s potential to lure in larger-scale investments.
“It is such good news, as Cambodia needs more global brands – not only hotels, but also restaurants, supermarkets and shopping malls to improve our tourism sector,” he said, stressing that this will incentivise the acquisition of new skills.
“Now is the right time for them to invest, as we are busy fighting Covid-19. Hence Pan Pacific will move on its plans in the next few years, right as the tourism industry is recovering from the trauma of Covid-19,” Sinan said.
Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 commented that Cambodia should ease quarantine measures to help smooth the process of reopening tourism.
The prime minister suggested a sandbox-like scheme – as seen in Thailand and Vietnam – where visitors are required to spend the first seven days of their trip in the general area of their accommodation, with inter-provincial travel expressly forbidden. But he stopped short of giving a firm timeframe.
According to data from the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, Covid has resulted in the closure or suspension of about 3,000 tourism-related businesses, leading to some 60,000 workers being furloughed. These include hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, spas, massage parlours, travel agencies, adventure sport venues and karaoke clubs.
Tourism ministry figures show that, in the first half of this year, 102,560 foreigners visited Cambodia, a decrease of 91.3 per cent compared to the same period in 2020.