Wyndham expands into Myanmar via franchise agreement

Wyndham Hotel Group is expanding into Southeast Asia's Myanmar for the first time with the signing of a franchise agreement for a 260-room Wyndham Grand hotel in Yangon, the country's capital city. The hotel, part of a mixed-use project, will be owned by Asia Myanmar Shining Star Company.

The project, Kantharyar Centre Project at the southern fringe of Yangon's popular Kandawgyi Lake, will reportedly cost US$157 and will also include a residential building, serviced apartments, an office tower and a retail center.

The new hotel will add to Wyndham Hotel Group's presence in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim, which currently consists of more than 60 hotels. More than 60 properties are currently under development in the region, Wyndham said.

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"With more than three million visitors in 2014, Myanmar is growing in popularity among business and leisure travelers, and we continue to be at the forefront of emerging markets," said Barry Robinson, Wyndham Hotel Group South East Asia and Pacific Rim's president and managing director. "The country's rich culture, political stability and recent tourism efforts, including the expansion of its e-Visa program and the construction of a new international airport, will continue to help draw more visitors, creating greater demand for high-quality, internationally recognized hotel brands like Wyndham."

"We are proud to partner with Wyndham Hotel Group on this landmark project and bring the prestigious Wyndham Grand® brand to Myanmar. We will invest around US$70 million in the hotel. The ground work for Phase 1 of the development is complete and we anticipate the whole project will be finalized by 2017," said Kyaw Khaing, a spokesperson of Asia Myanmar Shining Star Company.

Myanmar is becoming more attractive for development. Beyond this announced Wyndham hotel, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide recently announced a a planned 375-room Sheraton in Yangon, to be owned by Family Business Group Hotel Limited.

This all happening as foreign investment in Myanmar hits a fever pitch.

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