Japan-based Okura Nikko Hotel announces 2022 Kingdom opening

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Hotel Nikko stands tall in Kanazawa’s Honmachi district in Japan, photographed last year. NIKKO HOTELS INTERNATIONAL VIA FACEBOOK

Japanese company Okura Nikko Hotel Management Co Ltd announced on Friday that it will open its first Nikko Phnom Penh Hotel in the capital by 2022, a press release issued by the company said.

The hotel will be located in the 23-storey Japan Trade Centre (JTC) building, which is under construction and is planned to be completed by 2021.

The release, obtained by The Post on Saturday, said the rental agreement between Okura Nikko Hotel Management Co Ltd and UY United Co Ltd, the owner of the JTC building, will be signed on December 25.

The hotel will offer 201 guest rooms on floors 14 to 22 of the building.

New-found confidence

Okura Nikko Hotel Management CEO Marcel P van Aelst said: “It is a big honour for us to be able to be part of this project, with a mission to bring Japanese construction techniques to Cambodia.

“We aim to create a hotel which will act as a bridge between the two countries and imbue it with our signature hospitality, rooted in Japanese culture.”

The Japan Trade Centre, currently known as the World Trade Centre Phnom Penh, is built on a 3,374sqm plot of land along Street 430 in Chamkarmon district’s Tuol Tompoung II commune, with an investment capital of $65 million.

A local hotel insider said the coming of the new branch shows confidence in the Kingdom and pushes locals to strive for greater development.

Cambodia Hotel Association president Din Somethearth welcomed the new Nikko hotel, stating it reflects their confidence in Cambodia’s political stability as well as encouraging all domestic stakeholders to further strengthen their capacities for competition.

“The arrival of international hotels will make the market more competitive, which requires all local hotels to strive to further improve their services,” he said.

However, he emphasised that most international hotels that opened in Cambodia did not target local customers.

Century 21 Mekong Co Ltd CEO Chrek Soknim said the current number of Japanese investors, tourists and workers in Cambodia has increased steadily, so Japanese-style accommodation has also increased.

“Although Phnom Penh currently has one Japanese hotel in operation – Toyoko Inn Phnom Penh – this is not enough to meet the needs of their [Japanese] communities in Cambodia,” he said.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, in the first 10 months of this year, Cambodia received a total of 4.8 million foreign tourists, of which 158,439 were Japanese, down one per cent compared to the same period last year.

The new Phnom Penh hotel is part of the company’s plan to expand its portfolio to 100 properties, mainly in Asia, by 2020, according to the press release.

In a message sent to the Cambodian people on the occasion the Emperor of Japan’s birthday on Sunday, Hidehisa Horinouchi, Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia, noting the economic relations between Japan and Cambodia, said it was pleasing to see an increasing number of private Japanese companies actively operating in the Kingdom and contributing to its economic growth.

“In terms of people-to-people exchange, I am pleased that more and more Cambodian tourists are visiting Japan these days,” he said.