Kaung Myanmar Association Group (KMA Group) signs a MOU with Centara, one of Thailand’s largest hotel and resort operators to invest in several new and existing hotels throughout Myanmar. Investment amount is US$63 million (K 96.86 trillion). According to the MOU, there will be six separate projects, renovation and reopening of three existing KMA-owned hotels (in Inle, Naypyitaw and Taungoo) and construction and operation of three brand new hotels (in Bagan and Than Daung). Centara Paradise Inle Lake Resort & Spa is expected to open its doors in the fourth quarter of this year. Management agreements for the hotels will be signed in Bangkok and in Yangon in June of this year. They expect the hotels to employ about 1,000 in staff.
Centara Hotel and Resort, a subsidiary of Thai conglomerate Central Group of Companies, currently operates in several ASEAN markets, including Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia; the MOU marks the brand’s first project in Myanmar. It currently operates 70 hotels and resorts throughout Asia and the Middle East and has set a goal of doubling that number by 2022.
Kaung Myanmar Association Group of Companies (KMA Group) is owned by Myanmar national U Khin Maung Aye and it is founded in October of 2007. They currently operate eight resorts, hotels and inns throughout Myanmar. Other divisions of the conglomerate operate in construction, real estate, agriculture, mining and import-export businesses. U Khin Maung Aye is also the chairman of Co-operative Bank Ltd., or CB Bank, one of Myanmar’s largest banks.
According to the Ministry of Hotels & Tourism, there was an estimated $4.3 billion invested in hotels and commercial complexes, 60 percent of which came from Singapore. The ministry of Hotels and Tourism expects 4.5 million visitors this year and an annual growth rate of 8.5 percent annually through 2025. In 2018, visitors from China increased by 38 percent, accounting for the largest proportion of tourists that year. Myanmar received 3.55 million foreign tourists last year, a 3.15-percent increase from the year before, though net earnings from tourism likely dipped as tourism shifted from Western to Asian markets in the wake of political violence in Rakhine State.