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Yangon’s Sedona Plans On Expansion

Work has started on phase two of Sedona Hotel, an expansion that when completed in 2016 will boost the city’s five-star room capacity.

KeppelLand broke ground on the new 29-storey hotel wing in a ceremony late October in the presence of the city’s mayor, U Hla Myint.

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According to the group’s press statement the ground breaking was also witnessed by Robert Chua, Singapore Ambassador to Myanmar; Dr Tin Shwe, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Hotels & Tourism; Ang Wee Gee, CEO of Keppel Land and officials of the Yangon Regional Government.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Ang said: “The opening up of Myanmar has seen the number of visitors, both corporate and leisure travellers, increase significantly in the last three years.”

In the first eight months of 2013, local authorities reported that Myanmar has already received more than 1 million foreign visitors, about 60% higher than the same period last year. Tourist arrivals are forecast to reach 2 million by end of the year almost double the 2012 performance.

Sedona Hotel Yangon opened in 1997 with 366 rooms and struggled for decades to breakeven with low hotel rates in an oversupply environment.

But by 2012 hotel rates went through the ceiling from around US$30 a night to more than US$200. Sedona Hotel was the subject of criticism from travel agents when it readjusted its travel agency rates in 2012.

Sedona’s phase two will add 420 rooms, giving the property 786 rooms to sell by 2016.

The 29-floor high-rise will be one of the tallest structures in Yangon when completed in end-2015. Construction costs are estimated at around US$80 million.

It will have considerable competition from international chains that have recently signed management contracts on new properties including Best Western, Hilton, Accor and Inter-Continental.

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