American hotel chain Best Western International has embarked on the next stage of its expansion in Myanmar with the signing of its first hotel in the country’s second-largest city Mandalay.
The Mandalay opening will continue the hotel chain’s recent expansion in Myanmar, which started in 2013 with the opening of the Best Western Green Hill Hotel in Yangon. This opening made Best Western the first US-based hotel group to re-enter Myanmar since the country opened up to the international community.
“Since launching last year, Best Western Green Hill Hotel has experienced strong demand from both international business and leisure travellers. We see huge potential in Myanmar and plan to develop a network of hotels across the country. The signing of our first hotel in Mandalay is a key step towards achieving this,” said Glenn de Souza, Best Western International’s Vice President of International Operations for Asia & Middle East.
“Myanmar has made remarkable progress in recent years and Best Western is delighted to be able to continue our development in the country,” de Souza added.
Scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2015, the new midscale hotel will feature 108 rooms, equipped with amenities such as LCD TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi, Best Western said.
In addition to the midscale properties in Yangon and Mandalay, Best Western previously announced plans to open a luxury Best Western Premier hotel in the capital Nay Pyi Taw.
De Souza said he sees potential for all three of Best Western’s products – midscale Best Western, upper midscale Best Western Plus and upscale Best Western Premier – in Myanmar.
“At present Myanmar is experiencing a strong level of new hotel development, but much of this is concentrated in the higher ends of the market. With Best Western’s experience in the midscale, upper midscale, upscale segments, and a choice of products that can be tailored to different markets, we have the opportunity to create new demand and drive business across the country,” he said.
The new Best Western hotel in Mandalay will join the company’s existing portfolio of almost 200 hotels and resorts either operating or under development across Asia and the Middle East, including 86 in Southeast Asia.
The company said it expects to increase its regional collection to 300 properties in the next few years. Best Western first launched in Asia & the Middle East in 2001 and now covers 27 countries in the region.