New five-star hotel to brighten Cox’s Bazar image

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=122323

New five-star hotel to brighten Cox’s Bazar image
Sajjadur Rahman

A local entrepreneur is going to build a five-star hotel based on international timesharing concept in Cox’s Bazar at a cost of around Tk 150 crore.

The hotel — Sea Pearl Beach and Spa — is being built at Inani, some 20 kilometres away from Cox’s Bazar, and is expected to start commercial operations in February 2012. Land development has started in over eight acres.

The hotel has already been affiliated with Interval International, an operating segment of Interval Leisure Group Inc, listed on NASDAQ as IILG, a leading global provider of membership and leisure services in hospitality and vacation industry.

“Despite having the world’s longest sea beach, Cox’s Bazar lacks many recreational facilities. This hotel will meet all the needs of the holidaymakers, both from home and abroad,” said Aminul Haque, managing director of the hotel.

He said: “This will be the first green or eco-friendly hotel in the country.” Waste and water will be recycled and solar power will be used in the hotel.

Haque already owns a three-star hotel, Sea Crown, in Cox’s Bazar.

About adoption of international timesharing idea, he said it will help get international tourists, particularly the members of the Interval International that has 45 lakh members across the globe.

Interval International operates membership programmes for the backpackers and provides value-added services to its clients worldwide. Based in Miami in the US, the company has been a pioneer and innovator in serving the vacation ownership market for more than 30 years.

A timeshare is a form of ownership or right to the use of a property, or the term used to describe such properties. These properties are typically resort condominium units, in which multiple parties hold rights to use the property, and each sharer is allotted a period of time (typically one week, and almost always the same time every year) in which they may use the property. It is also known as ‘holiday ownership’ that is the art of sharing one’s ownership in the resort with other people and having the ability to swap or exchange that time to another resort anywhere in the world depending on availability.

Members of Sea Pearl Beach and Spa will avail of the facilities of Interval International-affiliated 2,500 hotels and resorts in over 75 countries.

“A membership contract will be for 20 years and cost Tk 3 lakh to Tk 5 lakh,” said Haque. “A member will be given seven days to spend in any Interval International-affiliated resort every year.”

Only the access fee, which is $80 in Asia and $120 in Europe and the US, will be charged, he added.

“The hotel will bring revolution in Bangladesh’s tourism and hospitality industry in terms of earning foreign currency and building the image of the country,” said Sunit Banerji, an international expert in hospitality and leisure management, who is providing consultancy for the project.

The hotel will consist of 200 rooms for residential accommodation including 150 timeshare rooms and suites. It will have the facilities such as spa, bar, barbecue, water sports, swimming pool, children amusement, restaurant, coffee shop, lobby, gymnasium, indoor-outdoor games, air-conditioned shuttle bus for pick-up and drop services and sight seeing.

The hotel will create employment for over 300 persons in different categories, the managing director said.

Of the Tk 146 crore-project cost, Prime Bank will raise Tk 85 crore as syndication fund.

“This will be a unique project in Bangladesh in many aspects, including timesharing and green concepts,” said Touhidul Alam Khan, executive vice president of corporate banking division of Prime Bank.

He said the hotel would be able to render international standard services that are absent in many cases in Cox’s Bazar.

sajjad@thedailystar.net

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