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Kempinski Wants to Open a Hotel in North Korea

News The situation concerning the Ryugyuong hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea, seems to be finally resolved and Kempinski might open a hotel there already in summer 2013.

According to Kempinski Hotels, a hotel company headquartered in Geneva, they are currently in the process of negotiations with Beijing Tourism Group through Key International, a Chinese venture partner of Kempinski. The main issue of the negotiations is the management of a 150 guestroom hotel. The hotel is located on the 105th floor of a high building. This building is renowned as one of the highest in the world, and the highest one in North Korea. However, it hasn’t been announced yet that this hotel will be operated by Kempinski. The rest of the tower will be occupied by various shops and boutiques, restaurants, MICE facilities, etc. It is also not clearly known whether the hotel will really have 150 guestrooms. Originally the hotel’s part was bigger, as, according to the project, Ryugyuong was intended to have 1500 guestrooms.

As it is not hard to guess, Kempinski has no hotels in North Korea, just like many other famous hotel companies. When asked, why the company wants to enter the hotel market of the country, its spokesman mentioned that early entry was one of strategies of the company. Kempinski was also among the first ones to enter China and Russia. Moreover, the monstrous pyramid tower is simply impossible not to notice. Once open, the building will become the concentration of the businesses of the city. If North Korea ever opens up, this hotel will turn into a “money printing machine”.

If Kempinski gets the permission to operate the hotel, it will become the first Western hospitality company to operate in North Korea. The building of the huge tower was started in 1987, but it was frozen in 1992 because the fall of the Soviet Union caused an economic crisis in North Korea. The building stood unfinished until 2008, when Cairo-based Orascom Telecom Media & Technology Holding agreed to invest $180 million to the project after it had been allowed to launch the Koryolink mobile phone network.


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