MANILA, Philippines–The SM Group of tycoon Henry Sy has opened a new convention center in Davao City, the SMX Convention Center Davao, in anticipation of strong demand for convention and special events space in the next few years.
A third convention center is set to open in Taguig in early 2013 under SM Hotels and Conventions Corp., currently the smallest but a fast-growing core business segment under flagship holding firm SM Investments Corp., SM announced on Monday.
SM Hotel’s portfolio of convention and exhibit venues also includes the Megatrade Hall in Megamall and the Cebu Trade Hall but this new space in Davao is the second under the SMX brand.
SMX Convention Center Davao, deemed as “the largest privately-owned and managed convention center in the southern Philippines,” has about 7,000 square meters in gross floor area and 5,240-square meter in leasable area. It leases out function rooms, meeting rooms and the lobby.
The new convention center is 2.5 kilometers from the Davao International Airport, 4-6 kilometers from the domestic and international seaports, and is within close proximity to several hotels, business areas, and tourist destinations.
“Additional convention centers are the SM group’s response to the projected increase in MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) events over the next few years,” SM said.
The hotel and convention segment was set up by the SM group as its fifth core business unit in 2008-2009. This year, the unit has turned profitable, growing consolidated revenues grew by 37 percent over last year.
SMX in Mall of Asia has 24,000 sqms of leasable exhibit space while the third SMX which will open in Aura, Fort Bonifacio, next year will have 5,000 square meters gross floor area.
It was earlier reported that SM Hotels is investing around P7 billion to scale up its portfolio over the medium term, which will include its flagship luxury hotel that will rise within the Mall of Asia complex and five new Park Inn Hotels in various countryside locations across the Philippines.
The group has made plans to build a five-star 400-room hotel within Mall of Asia and also roll out five new Park Inn Hotels adjacent to selective SM Malls within the next six to seven years.