Himawari: “Cambodia’s strong economy, good bilateral relations key to tourism success.”

Anith Adilah Othman / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Andrew Tay
Andrew Tay, Director of Himawari Hotel Apartments. KT/ Chor Sokunthea

Cambodia’s strong economic performance in recent years is one of the key factors that boosted local and foreign businesses here, says Himawari Hotel Apartments Director Mr Andrew Tay.

Having been on Cambodian soil for 19 years now, Himawari has established itself as one of the key players in the tourism sector. This, Mr. Tay said, was made possible also due to the Kingdom’s positive attitude towards foreign investments.

“The gross domestic product (GDP) growth last year is nearly 7% which showed that the country’s economic environment is moving at a really fast pace. As this happens, it also boosts other industries including tourism.

“Take Himawari, for instance. Between the past two to three years, we noticed a significant increase in the number of business tourists. This is because more and more foreign investors, including Singaporeans, are coming in to look for business opportunities,” he told Khmer Times in a recent interview.

The Singaporean hotelier added that the strong bilateral relationship between the Kingdom and Singapore also factored heavily into Himawari’s success.

“In the past, we would only see one or two trade missions a year but in recent times, we are seeing almost one trade mission happening every other month or so. We would see those from Enterprise Singapore (under the Trade Ministry), Singapore Business Federation and other Singapore business consulting companies bringing in businessmen for trade opportunities.

“These exploratory trips are also seen within the business association groups, members of the Singaporean government and other corporate players. When they are here, the Singapore Club Cambodia (SCC) business affairs committee would also engage with them to network and provide experience or advises,” he said.

Mr. Tay said Himawari was fortunate to have had the opportunity to host a number of important events that involved both Cambodians and Singaporeans, especially within the past one year.

“Earlier this year we saw the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce signing a memorandum of understanding about training. We also saw Singaporeans coming in to collaborate with SCC. Soon we will host 29 delegations from 21 companies organised by Ngee Ann Polytechnic who are coming to learn more about Cambodia’s business ecosystem.

“On the regional level, Himawari had recently hosted a meeting of 9th ASEAN Chiefs of Military Medicine Conference. We are glad to be trusted as a venue for such important events.”

He also said that Himawari is constantly trying to do more for the local community as a way to show its gratitude towards the Kingdom. This, he added, is why Himawari puts the community as one of its major pillars in doing corporate social responsibility.

“Our philosophy has always been giving back to the local society. One of our most recent CSR initiatives is a fundraising event during the celebration of our 19th anniversary. We donated all proceeds from the sale of paintings by Singaporean artist Foo Kwee Horng to St. John Phnom Penh.

“We also sit in a board in Kampong Speu where we help provide the opportunity for youths from less fortunate families to go to training schools.This would also help them to fill up the job market since many hotels are opening up,” he said.

Mr. Tay said Himawari is also paying homage to the land it sits on through the newly-upgraded designs of its rooms and apartments.

“We have been here for almost two decades, so we know that we should not lose touch with the local community. Aside from ‘refreshing’ the decors, we are continuously adding Cambodian touch to the hotel’s overall interior.

“We are starting to use more Cambodian artists for the painting. This, we believe, will help promote local culture and remind our guests of the historical side of the Kingdom,” he said.

In conjunction with the National Day of Singapore, Himawari will also be offering a special food promotion featuring modern takes on classic Singaporean delights such as nasi lemak burger, satay pizza, and hawker-style chicken chop served on a hotplate. The promotion started on August 1 and is for a limited time only. For more information, log on to www.himawarihotel.com.

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