Ayala to invest P32B in tourism sector
Property giant Ayala Land Inc. seeks to deepen its involvement in the Philippine tourism space by investing an additional P32 billion to build new hotels and resorts this year through 2022.
ALI has invested P28 billion in tourism since 2009 and is projected to make the additional investment up to 2022 to expand its portfolio of hotels and resorts, Ayala Corp. chair and chief executive Jaime Zobel de Ayala said in a speech at the recent Asean Tourism Summit.
Zobel said the group’s investments were guided from the planning stage to operations by “sustainable and responsible” tourism, which keeps in mind the environment, socio-cultural or community and economic impact.
“Tourism ultimately benefits local communities. We establish partnerships with local government units across the country, who have embraced our developments and recognized a shared vision toward providing for the needs of their communities,” he said.
“We are committed to seeing local communities that host our projects grow with us and jointly create value,” Zobel said.
About 70-90 percent of jobs created by the group’s projects tap local manpower, he noted. The goods and services required by the operations are sourced from the local community as much as possible, he said.
These tourism projects are likewise seen as an opportunity to highlight Filipino products and architecture.
“We are great believers in Filipino design and do as much as we can to highlight what is Filipino. We buy from local manufacturers who create export-grade Philippine products like furniture from Cebu which is installed in almost all our hotels, or interior accents bought from local entrepreneurs in the province or region. We have also focused on the use of endemic landscaping and locally sourced materials to showcase local biodiversity and talent,” Zobel said.
As a strategy, the Ayala group also seeks to focus on large-scale tourism estates to create greater positive social and economic impact.
“Scale also enables us to analyze and plan on the basis of a site’s natural resources as well as its cultural attributes,” Zobel said.
“One example of this is Lio in El Nido. At Lio, you’ll see an uninterrupted four-kilometer stretch of beach, preserved wetlands for the protection of endemic flora and fauna, native landscaping and pedestrian infrastructure like footbridges built without impeding root systems of trees. We also built a number of boutique resorts, a retail center, an airport, an artists’ village and other facilities. And yet, as you approach from the sea, none of that is visible; its natural beauty is preserved,” he said.
To boost air access to its projects, especially those in island destinations, ALI opened its boutique airline called AirSwift.
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