Fort Hotels Group is developing a 720-room five-star hotel in Cox's Bazar, and the 15-floor luxury hotel will open for visitors in 2014, its officials said.
Initially, the company plans to invest $40 million to build the hotel, Best Western Premier Fort Marino Hotel, at Kolatoli.
US-based Best Western, a leading hotel company operating under a single brand name, is partnering the venture as the management operator.
Best Western Premier and Fort Hotels Group signed an agreement yesterday at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel.
"The number of local and foreign tourists is increasing fast in Cox's Bazar, which creates a demand for better accommodation and services. This scenario makes us take initiative to develop the biggest five-star hotel of the country there," said Sayeed Parvez Reza Latif, managing director of Fort Marino Hotel.
He said the number of tourists will increase further once the proposed airport and a railway connection from Chittagong to Cox's Bazar is established.
"We have started the construction in July and are optimistic about completing it by 2012. After that it will take one and a half years to add other amenities to make it an international standard hotel," said Latif, also the architect of the hotel.
He said the hotel would be developed using state-of-the-art technology and 'green architecture' so the establishment becomes eco-friendly and carbon-neutral.
Initially, local corporate executives and family tourists, and foreign travellers are the main target group of the hotel.
Latif also said his company plans to open three more five-star hotels in Dhaka, Chittagong and Rangamati in the next five years.
"The partnership between Best Western International and Fort Hotels Group will position the new hotel as the largest international hotel in Cox's Bazar," said Glenn de Souza, vice president of Best Western International.
"Best Western's strong sales and marketing network and distribution channel will be instrumental in bringing international guests to the destination and boost the country's tourism sector," added Souza.
Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister GM Quader launched the project at the agreement signing ceremony.
Sandra J Ingram, acting deputy chief of US Embassy in Dhaka, and Mohammad Liaquat Ali, executive member of Board of Investment, were also present.