Karen Enterprises Raising Up To $650k For Hospitality School, Hotels in Myanmar

Singapore-based Karen Enterprises is looking to raise up to $650,000 for a hospitality school and other tourism-related development in and around the conflict-ravaged area of Myawaddy in Karen state, Myanmar.

The school will be developed by Mu Aye Pu Development Corporation that is backed by Karen Enterprises and Integrative Design & Project Management (IDPM). The development is part of the Mu Aye Pu project, a new settlement to be located at the border of Thailand and Myanmar.

Karen Enterprises has already raised about $130,000 in commitments for tourismrelated development planned around the Karen area, including luxury safari lodges, according to Karen Enterprises co-founder Kurt Hanson. Investors include high networth individuals interested in what they see as the last frontier of Asia.

The Karen hospitality and tourism training school will train 50 students per year who will be taught by hospitality experts and trained to five star standards.

“The Karen people will finally have a chance for a long career with good income and steady work. Also, we have an eye towards developing tourism in the Karen area. If they start opening hotels and resorts, they will need to staff those facilities with highly trained people,” said Hanson during an interaction with DEALSTREETASIA.

A feasibility study on the hotel school was done in 2016 and the project was started in March 2017.

The team implementing the hotel school project is led by Nigel Grier, co-founder of Karen Enterprises, and Dr Rieki Crins, founder of Learning Exchange Foundation. Crins had a previous experience developing the Bongde Institute of Hospitality & Tourism in
Bhutan and he is replicating the work at the Karen Hotel School.

With the presence of a couple of hotels in the border town and a casino operating in Myawaddy, Karen Enterprise plans to build its hospitality portfolio further with five luxury eco-hotels & spas at Mu Aye Pu. This will include an eco-hotel and spa within the hot springs of Mulayit wilderness area.

“We do see this as a growing business and we want to supply hotels and resorts with highly trained staff,” said Hanson.