Singapore's top spot in hotel sector sees challenge from Vietnam

PHOTO: Singapore's top spot in hotel sector sees challenge from Vietnam
Sedona Hotel Yangon is one of the hotels run by Singapore-based hotel management.

Singapore continues to maintain its leading position in the hotel industry, having invested US$598 million (S$736 million) in hotels here to date, according to recently released figures from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

Vietnamese investment, however, is expected to surpass Singapore's after companies from Vietnam last month signed a deal with Nay Pyi Taw to invest $300 million in hotels. The massive build-operate-transfer deal was the first surge of investment into the hotel sector since the new foreign investment law was passed.

Ministry figures show that foreign investors have poured about $1.4 billion into the hotel sector. Thai investment totals $236 million, which will put it in third spot after the Vietnamese funds arrive. Japanese investors will be fourth with a combined $183 million, followed by Hong Kong investors ($77 million) and Malaysian investors ($20 million).

Investment from western countries is beginning to enter the sector with $3 million from the United Kingdom. Ministry figures shows foreign companies have invested in 36 hotel projects, including 30 that have been completed.

The number of tourist arrivals surpassed one million for the first time last year, leaving hotels in major tourist destinations struggling to meet demand.