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More lodgings springing up

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As of 2020, the Kingdom had 1,028 hotels comprising 44,428 rooms and 2,755 guesthouses consisting of 35,791 units, according to the foreign ministry. FRESH NEWS

More lodgings springing up

A gradually increasing number of prospective tenants are looking to lease properties to provide commercial overnight accommodation, after a nearly two-year Covid lull, with rates relatively unchanged from end-2020, industry insiders have said.

The global Covid-19 crisis triggered sharp declines in occupancy rates in hotels, guesthouses and similar establishments, leading to widespread closures around the world. But after excruciating struggles, positive signs have begun to emerge for the industry.

Lucky Realty CEO Dith Channa told The Post on December 29 that the country’s reopening scheme that kicked off last month, and resumption of economy activities, have motivated searches for properties to turn into hotels and guesthouses, following nearly two years of travel restrictions and Covid-19 anxieties.

Although more pronounced in the capital and Sihanoukville, this trend will further solidify its presence in other tourist hotspots across the provinces, as more flights are expected to resume from the beginning of next year, he predicted.

“The announced plans to begin the normalisation of economic activities and open up to international tourists who are fully-inoculated against the novel coronavirus has prompted local and foreign investors to start looking for rental buildings to convert into hotels or guesthouses, a process expected to pick up steam from the beginning of 2022,” Channa said.

He noted that monthly full-building rent for larger properties, excluding those that offer Grade A or B office space, was generally under $10 per sqm, which he said is similar to end-2020 levels.

Global Real Estate Association president and Sam SN Realty CEO Sam Soknoeun underlined that more accommodations would be crucial, as investors and tourists gradually return to the Kingdom, with a marked jump expected after the Lunar New Year on February 1.

“Not only is there demand for rentals, some people are even starting to search for hotels to buy up and reinvest in,” he said.

He suggested that this demand is influenced by two main factors – the need for accommodation options for a broad range of parties, such as locals, tourists and investors; and for sublease to another organisation that may be looking to house their teams.

Soknoeun said the construction of new hotels and guesthouses would also ramp up again in the near future.

As of 2020, the Kingdom had 1,028 hotels comprising 44,428 rooms and 2,755 guesthouses consisting of 35,791 units, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

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