China eyes major hotel project in Micronesia…

13/10/2011

<p style="text-align: justify;">In line with its deepening engagement in the Pacific Islands region, China has announced two big-ticket hotel investments in the past two weeks – one each in Micronesia and Polynesia. This follows the opening of a super luxury hotel in Nadi, Fiji, last month.<!--more--></p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">An investment company from Chengdu in China’s Sichuan Province named Exhibit &amp; Travel Group is keen on setting up a large hotel complex on the island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Yap is the closest Micronesian island to Guam, which is expected to see exponential growth in the next decade or so because of the new US base being built there.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The US$15 billion armed forces base will see an influx of thousands of temporary and permanent workers in Guam and surrounding region as the US base shifts there from the Japanese island of Okinawa over the next few years. Strategically, therefore, it appears to be a sound investment.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The proposed plan is to develop close to a dozen hotel complexes on the island, involving the building of nearly 4000 rooms, which if all approvals are obtained, would be ready for occupation in 2015 – the original date of the completion of the Guam base (there have been considerable delays in the building of the base and is not expected to be ready by 2015).</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The investor group is already talking of scaling up the project to 20,000 rooms in the medium term and is even willing to invest in infrastructure – upscaling existing air and sea port facilities – and passenger aircraft to support the projected influx of tourists. If things go to plan, picturesque Yap will turn out to be one of the biggest holiday destinations in the Pacific.</p>
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