SMC developing leisure estate near Boracay gateway

Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is building a 130-hectare leisure complex close to the main gateway to Boracay Island, Godofredo P. Ramos Airport in Caticlan, which the group is upgrading under a pioneering airport concession deal.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Wednesday, SMC said the completion of the departure and arrival terminal of the Boracay airport was expected by the last quarter of 2018.

The entire facility, including the refurbished runway, which is operated and maintained by SMC affiliate Trans Aire Development Holdings Corp., is located in Nabas and Malay municipalities.

Through wholly owned subsidiary San Miguel Properties, the group was developing an integrated tourist resort complex, which would include a 400-room hotel under the Marriott brand and possibly a convention center, ocean park, entertainment facilities and other recreational amenities, the SMC disclosure said.

The Caticlan airport has already been upgraded to accommodate big jets. Apart from constructing a bigger airport passenger terminal and extending the runway, the rehabilitation program includes improvements in the road network, airport facilities and air traffic control aids.

Upon completion, the Caticlan airport is envisioned to be on par with the best airports in the region.

It was in 2011 that SMC first announced a $300-million investment to upgrade the Caticlan airport and to construct new amenities like a hotel, a world-class convention center and a retail complex.

The upgrading of the airport is seen to make Boracay a more affordable holiday destination for many Filipinos and tourists with airlines competing to bring down fares.