The International Finance Corporation is lending up to US$13.5 million (about K17.36 billion) to the owner and operator of the Amata Hotel Group to expand its business, the IFC said last week.
The convertible loan to the United International Group Ltd will help it to build new hotels at Bagan and Inle Lake, two of the country’s top tourist destinations, said the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.
Amata’s expansion will contribute to the tourism sector by helping to address the acute need for quality hospitality sector infrastructure outside Yangon, IFC said in statement on October 22.
International arrivals in Myanmar have soared from 800,000 in 2011 to more than four million last year but the supply of quality tourist accommodation has failed to keep pace, it said.
The 144-room at Bagan and 130-room hotel at Inle Lake will be developed in two phases and will comply with an IFC green building certification system that reduces energy, water and material consumption by at least 20 percent compared with similar buildings.
The project at Inle will also be aligned with the lake’s conservation objectives, the IFC said.
“We look forward to learning from IFC, tapping into its vast knowledge and expertise in the field, and elevating our business to a best-practice example in Myanmar’s growing tourism industry,” said U Win Aung, Amata Hotel Group chief executive officer.
The company opened the first of its four hotels and resorts in Myanmar at Ngapali Beach in 2003.
“Tourism, as a leading driver of economic growth and job creation, can play a major role in poverty reduction in Myanmar, particularly for women and young people. But, for this to happen, the sector must be developed in a sustainable manner,” said Mr Philippe Le Houérou, IFC executive vice president and chief executive officer.
The announcement of the loan coincided with the start of a four-day visit to Myanmar by Le Houérou that was to include meetings with government officials, businesspeople and development partners.
The IFC is the largest investor in Myanmar’s private sector, with accumulated investments of $386 million to September 2016, the statement said.