Saigontourist Holdings Co broke ground for a project to expand the 85-year-old Majestic Hotel in HCM City 's District 1 on July 6.

The expansion includes two 24 – and 27-story towers with four basements as well as 353 guest rooms located on a nearly 6,000sq.m area.

With an investment of 1.9 trillion VND (92.2 million USD), the company will turn the existing Majestic Hotel into a new hotel complex with 538 guestrooms when construction is completed by the end of 2014.

Tran Hung Viet, general director of Saigontourist, said the project would not change the existing French-style Majestic Hotel, which was built in 1925 and recognised by the Vietnam National Administration for Tourism (VNAT) as a 5-star hotel in 2007.

Ho Anh Tuan, deputy minister for culture, sports and tourism, said the new hotel complex would help prolong guests' stays and spending while they visit HCM City and Vietnam in general.

Nguyen Thi Hong, deputy chairwoman of HCM City People's Committee, said the project would enhance the competitiveness of HCM City 's tourism industry and at the same time speed up the city's re-structuring of its economy.

Saigontourist, with over 100 subsidiaries operating in hospitality, entertainment and other tourism-related services, attained total revenue of an average 500 million USD annually in the last five years./.