KUALA LUMPUR - The new hotel that Genting Malaysia is building in the highland resort will have more than 2,000 rooms instead of the 1,300 originally planned.
This is an increase of more than 50 per cent, noted Maybank Investment Bank (Maybank IB), citing external sources for information on the ramp-up in rooms.
The bank, noting the "strong historical connection between room count and revenue", had organised a site visit for a group of fund managers and analysts to give them a sneak peek of the RM3 billion (S$1.2 billion) facelift to Resorts World Genting (RWG), a complex of half a dozen hotels and lifestyle amenities.
Renovations have not started at the alreadyclosed outdoor theme park, but construction of the new hotel, sited next to the First World Hotel, has begun.
Work on the hotel and the theme park, to be renamed the 20th Century Fox Theme Park when it reopens in 2016, will cost about RM1 billion; this leaves Genting Malaysia RM2 billion to invest under the five-year facelift announced in July.
The additional investments will address the infrastructure upgrades needed to keep visitors coming back to RWG. Genting Highlands is Malaysia's top tourist attraction, with its cooler climate a draw for many.
Hwang-DBS, in an end-July report, observed that RWG hotels last year registered an average hotel occupancy rate of 95 per cent. It pointed out, however, that of the 20.5 million visitors, 72 per cent were day-trippers, partly because there were not enough hotel rooms.
If more of them had rooms for the night, it would boost casino patronage, since they would then spend more hours at the gaming tables, as has been the case historically and in Macau, said Hwang-DBS.