Hyatt Hotels, a U.S. chain, is planning to build a 250-room Hyatt Regency in Phnom Penh in 2020, joining a crowded market vying for high-end travelers.
Hyatt signed an agreement to build the hotel with local conglomerate Chip Mong Group, the company announced this week. The Park Hyatt Siem Reap is the chain’s only other hotel in Cambodia.
The Phnom Penh property will include a rooftop pool overlooking the Royal Palace and Tonle Sap river, as well as a conference center, spa and other amenities, according to a news release. The construction cost was not disclosed.
“We believe the hotel will play a vital role in the city’s development and will become a landmark in the city and a dynamic member of the local community,” David Udell, Hyatt’s group president for Asia Pacific, said in the statement.
With an increasing number of luxury hotels vying for a slice of the local tourism market, Hyatt may have to lure customers from existing options including the Sofitel, Raffles, Cambodiana and Sokha hotels.
“I do not think the luxury market is growing as fast as the luxury hotels that are planned to open in the near future,” Stefan Willimann, general manager of the Hotel Cambodiana, said in an email on Thursday.
However, if the city’s infrastructure “keeps up with the development, there will be demand from corporate, NGO and government” customers, Mr. Willimann said, predicting that new entrants like Hyatt would “push competition and help to improve quality.”
Charles-Henri Chevet, general manager of the Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra, said the arrival of international brands could increase exposure for the capital, but that the city was still falling short in terms of the infrastructure and cleanliness that high-end guests expect.
“Currently, we are losing a lot of opportunity to be selected as a destination for large groups, such as congress or regional meetings, because of the overall condition of the city,” Mr. Chevet said.
Although tourism growth has slowed in recent years, the latest figures from the Ministry of Tourism show that foreign visitor arrivals to Phnom Penh rose to 1.49 million in the first half of the year, a 6 percent rise over last year.
(Additional reporting by Ben Paviour)