SINGAPORE, June 11 (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc , the world’s largest hotel operator by market value, said it plans to open five more hotels in Myanmar in the next three years, even as its maiden project in the country is facing delays.
Hilton has signed management agreements with Eden Group Company Limited, a business conglomerate in Myanmar, for the hotels.
Two, which are existing properties, will be rebranded and open as Hilton hotels in October 2014. The other three are slated to open in 2016 and 2017, it said in a statement.
A surge in the number of tourists in recent years has sparked a boom in hotel development in Myanmar, where only six five-star hotels were in operation at the end of 2013. Hotel and service apartment operators including Hilton, Accor Group , Shangri-la Group and Pan Pacific Hotels Group, are racing to open new hotels in the country.
Hilton’s first project in Myanmar, originally scheduled to open this year, is now expected to open in late 2015 or early 2016, said Martin Rinck, president of Hilton, Asia Pacific.
“Working in an environment such as Myanmar where sometimes not everything goes like Swiss clockwork, the project is coming later than expected,” Rinck said, adding the delay is not deterring Hilton from further expansion in the country.
“Hilton really is a company that likes to be on the forefront, to be the first when it comes to entering emerging markets.” (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)