» » First Ibis hotel gets off ground in Saigon South

VNRE - Viethan Hotel Joint Stock Co., which was founded by B.B. Dai Minh Corp., yesterday started work on its hotel project in HCMC's Saigon South which will be the first hotel in Vietnam bearing the three-star brand Ibis of the European hotel management group Accor.

"The Ibis Saigon South will be open in about 20 months' time," Jin Lee, general director of Viethan Hotel, told the ground-breaking ceremony. The property in the new township Phu My Hung in District 7 will have 160 rooms as well as cafe, restaurant, gym and conference facilities.

"We believe the first Ibis will bring the new international standard of business hotel into the Vietnamese market," Lee said. He added that building a hotel marked operation expansion of B.B. Dai Minh Corp., which has accomplished a number of property developments in Vietnam including an industrial park and a couple of office buildings in Phu My Hung.

The Ibis hotel costs around US$11 million, US$6.8 million of it lent by Bao Viet Bank as part of a credit agreement that Lee signed with Nguyen Duy Minh, deputy director of Bao Viet Bank's Saigon branch, at the event.

"With our experience together with continuous support from our partners, contractors and especially Bao Viet Bank..., we are very confident that we will successfully complete building this Ibis hotel on time," Lee said.

Zina Seceragic, regional human resources director of Accor for Vietnam, South Korea, Japan and the Philippines, told the Daily that the first Ibis hotel would be followed by more managed by Accor in Vietnam in the future.

This group currently operates 14 hotels with almost 2,300 rooms in cities across the country, including the Sofitel Saigon Plaza. Other hotel brands under its management include MGallery Collection, Novotel and Mercure.

Accor is now the largest international hotel management company in Vietnam. The group became the first international hotel operator to open a permanent office in Vietnam when it established a representative office in HCMC in March 2008.

"Accor is committed to Vietnam and will make it our main objective to remain the largest international hotel operator in Vietnam," Seceragic said. She added that the Ibis Saigon South would not only strengthen the group's presence in this market but also attract more travelers to HCMC who were looking for international-standard hotels.

Lee of Viethan said business travelers were in the list of target guests for the Ibis Saigon South that is close to the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center. He noted Viethan believed there was more demand for international three-star hotels in HCMC than those properties of four to five-star ratings.

Reported by Mong Binh - The Saigon Times Daily

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