French international hotel firm Accor opened its first Novotel-branded hotel in Myanmar since announcing its return to the country in 2013. Novotel Inle Lake, located on the east bank of the southern Shan State attraction, was developed in partnership with Myat Min Company.
Speaking at a ceremony on October 6, Patrick Basset, Accor’s regional chief operating officer, said it was the first of as many as 10 properties the company plans to open in coming years in Myanmar.
“We are very happy with this Novotel in Inle Lake because this is really one of the must-see places in Myanmar,” he said. “We hope to attract more visitors to this hotel with the beauty of the nature and beautiful setting.”
Minister for Tourism U Htay Aung said he welcomed the return of Accor, which pulled out of Myanmar in 2002 for political and economic reasons.
“It was a story [that] happened a long time ago. Today our new administration [has made] significant reform changes [and as a result] Accor is very enthusiastic to work in Myanmar,” he said. “I would like to thanks Accor for its returning to Myanmar.”
In December 2013, Accor and Myat Min signed an agreement to develop three hotels, including Pullman Yangon, The Sebel Yangon and Novotel Inle Lake.
Earlier in the year it announced it was working with Max Myanmar Group, owned by tycoon U Zaw Zaw, to develop Novotel Yangon Max, along with hotels in Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw.
As The Myanmar Times reported last month, it will develop up to three hotels, including two under its budget Ibis brand, with U Thant Zin Tun, the son of Myanmar Golden Star founder U Thein Tun, the majority owner of Myanmar Consolidated Media, publisher of The Myanmar Times.
Mr Basset said Accor expects to open The Lake Garden in Nay Pyi Taw in September, while the long-delayed Novotel Yangon is scheduled to hold a soft opening in December.
“We do have some [other] projects in Mandalay and Muse. So we have several hotel projects in Myanmar for both up-scale and budget types,” he said.
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