Thailand-based international hospitality company, Minor Hotels (“Minor”), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) with Funyard Hotels & Resorts (“Funyard”), a core alliance enterprise of China-based Country Garden Group, to expand its brands in China. Presently, Minor has a diverse portfolio of brands with 530 hotels in 56 countries and region. The partnership will see the inaugural development of brands including Anantara, Avani, Oaks, Elewana, Tivoli and NH in China. Dillip Rajakarier, the CEO of Minor expressed his confidence for both parties to exploit their respective advantages and jointly explore new development opportunities. Ji Hongjun, the president of Funyard added that the pandemic caused a shift in demand from overseas towards the domestic tourism market. Therefore, with Funyard’s managerial experience and resources in the domestic market, coupled with Minor Hotels’ experience in the global hotel and resort establishment, they are confident that the partnership would help to enhance tourism in China and globally.
South Korea-based overseas aid agency, South Korean International Cooperation Agency (“KOICA”), has agreed to fund USD13 million for a project to create a smart cultural and tourism city for Hue, the capital of Thua Thien-Hue Province in Vietnam. These funds will be used to implement a five-year USD14.8 million project from 2021 to 2025. The remaining amount will consist of counterpart funding from the central province. KOICA is the nation’s government agency that specializes in implementing non-refundable aid programmes for developing countries. This project aims to transform Hue into a tourism hub through the development of a smart tourism information system, an urban cultural tourism center and expansion of the walking zone network. Furthermore, it will cover the installation of smart lighting and surveillance systems along the banks of the Huong River, and build public administration capacity for tourism development and urban management. KOICA’s Vietnam office head, Cho Han-duck, has also said that KOICA will “step up cooperation efforts to contribute to the balanced development of the central region in Vietnam and the creation of smart cities there”.
Bau, a district situated within the Kuching Division, in Sawarak, Malaysia, has announced plans for the construction of the Bau Gold Mine Museum and Park within the Tasik Biru state constituency. The proposed project aims to accentuate its holistic gold mining heritage, which seeks to boost tourism through the various adventure, nature, agricultural and cultural offerings. This project is part of the “Greater Bau” initiative, which consists of several developmental plans to improve the tourism infrastructure of the Batu Kitang, Tasik Biru, and Serembu state constituencies. Other projects under this initiative include the Tasik Biru Resort City, which is scheduled to undergo its first phase of construction soon. The proposed resort city includes a hotel with floating chalets, restaurants, chairlifts, public parks, a promenade around the lake, which complements the upcoming Gold Mine Museum and Park. Datuk Henry Harry Jinep, Tasik Biru State assemblyman, mentioned that both projects will become a new tourist attraction in the district, which is anticipated to increase investments, create employment opportunities, diversify economic activities and redefine the value chain of tourism within the district.
Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism is drafting a master plan for the development of Kep province into a high-end, eco-tourism destination. Four major sites have been identified including Kep town, Ankol beach, Phnom Vore region, and Kep’s archipelago. Additionally, there will also be 251 development projects. Ny Phally, Ministry Undersecretary of State and Director of the Secretariat of the Inter-ministerial Commission has elaborated that the plan also provides for improvements to the existing Kep beach and the development of the Angkol beach as a new tourist site. Other development projects consist of initiatives including the expansion of international sports facilities, the construction of a tourist-oriented war museum and the arrangement of visits to the 13 biodiversity-rich islands. Moreover, the inter-ministerial commission has also outlined nine key strategies which include initiatives like the development of tourism resources, creating travel corridors, and improving the region’s quality and safety of tourism. Commenting on the government’s efforts, Chhay Sivlin, Cambodia’s Association of Travel Agents president, described Kep as one of the nation’s potential coastal destinations and highlighted Kep’s great potential to attract tourists because of their rich natural environment.