Hotels rise up to the challenge of a robust PH tourism sector
The hotel industry plays a key role in the growth of the Philippine tourism sector, which has seen a steadily rising demand for rooms from local and foreign tourists, who travel either for business or leisure.
With an ambitious infrastructure program and an aggressive tourism campaign, visitor arrivals have been growing over the past few years. International tourist arrivals to the Philippines stood at 5.361 million in 2015, 5.967 million in 2016, 6.621 million in 2017 and 7.128 million in 2018.
During these years, the contribution of tourism to the economy, as measured by the share of direct gross value added to gross domestic product (TDGVA), has also been increasing, with TDGVA estimated at 10.1 percent in 2015, 10.7 percent in 2016, 12.2 percent in 2017 and 12.7 percent in 2018.
Latest available data, meanwhile, showed continuous growth with 7.484 million tourist arrivals recorded from January to November 2019, surpassing the arrivals for the whole year of 2018.
Although Philippine tourism still lags behind its neighbors in the region, the gains in this industry have so far drawn hotels to establish or expand their presence in the Philippines and have provided plenty of growth opportunities in the coming years. International brands making a comeback and homegrown brands stepping up to the plate manifest the boom times experienced in the country’s hotel industry.
The massive integrated resort and entertainment complex City of Dreams in Parañaque City, which opened in 2015, boasts of luxury hotel brands Nuwa, Nobu, and Hyatt Regency.
The Resorts World Complex in Pasay City, conveniently located near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, is home to two luxury hotels that have recently reentered the country after closing shop decades ago. The 357-room Hilton Manila reopened its doors in October 2018, returning to the Philippines after the closure of Manila Hilton in 1987, while the 393-room Sheraton Manila Hotel opened in January—a reintroduction of the brand since it first set foot in the country more than two decades ago.
Marriott International, which had brought back the Sheraton brand here, is planning to further expand its footprint in the country, with the planned addition of more than 20 hotels in five years, including its most premium brands such as the swanky Ritz Carlton.
Apart from the Sheraton Manila Hotel, other Marriott hotels currently open in the Philippines include Manila Marriott Hotel; Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo; and Clark Marriott Hotel in Pampanga.
The surge in demand for accommodations also fueled the growth of homegrown hotel brands especially in areas outside Metro Manila.
The 547-room Savoy Hotel Mactan Newtown opened late last year in Cebu, the third hotel under the Savoy Hotel brand, a homegrown hotel chain established by Megaworld. Megaworld Hotels’ other brands include Richmonde Hotels, Belmont Hotels, Twin Lakes Hotel and Hotel Lucky Chinatown. In the next five years, the company plans to open new homegrown hotel brands in Parañaque, Bacolod, Iloilo, Boracay, and Laguna.
Hotel 101, the flagship homegrown hotel brand of DoubleDragon, is an affordable hotel with units sold to buyers seeking recurring earnings out of their property assets. The prototype for this hospitality brand is the 518-room Hotel 101-Manila in the Bay Area, while a 514-room Hotel 101 is set to rise near the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
Seda, Ayala Land’s homegrown hotel, recently opened the 214-room Seda Central Bloc, the second Seda property in Cebu and one of the brand’s 11 properties throughout the country, which included resorts and serviced residences. Two upcoming Seda hotels will be located in Parañaque and Taguig.
Established in 2008, SM Hotels and Conventions Corp. has grown its portfolio to eight hotel properties and over 38,000 sqm of convention space, which included Taal Vista Hotel, Pico Sands Hotel, Radisson Blu Cebu, Park Inn by Radisson Davao, Conrad Manila, Park Inn by Radisson Clark, Park Inn by Radisson Iloilo, Park Inn by Radisson North Edsa and the SMX Convention Centers and Trade Halls.
Sources: Inquirer Archives, megaworldcorp.com, hotel101manila.com.ph, smhotels.com.ph, sedahotels.com
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