Sep 142013

MANILA, Philippines – Tourism is still the next big thing in the real estate sector, according to Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), a leading real estate services firm.

JLL country head David Leechiu, in his speech during the recent general membership meeting of the Chamber of Thrift Banks, said for the next four years, there are over 12,431 rooms that are expected to be built.

He noted that around half of the upcoming hotels will rise in the Entertainment City.

“There are expected about 8,550 supply of hotel rooms in Entertainment City (launched and planned),” he said.

The hotels that would be constructed in Entertainment City include: Belle Grande Manila Bay of Belle Corp. (2013); Manila Bay Resorts (2014); Radisson Hotel Manila of SM Investments Corp. (2014); Resorts World Bayshore of Genting Berhad Group/Alliance Global Inc. (2016); Luxury Hotel of Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels Inc.; and Mercure Hotel Manila of CDC Holdings Inc.

Other hotels in the pipeline which will be located all over the metropolis and expected to be constructed within 2013-2017 include: WorldHotel Residences of WorldHotels (Makati); Marco Polo Ortigas of Edsa Grand Realty and Development Corp. (Ortigas); Ascott of CDC Holdings Inc. (Bonifacio Global City); Novotel Manila Araneta Center of Araneta Group (Araneta, Quezon City); Citadines of CDC (Makati); Citadines Millennium of CDC (Ortigas); Shangri-La at the Fort of Shang Properties (BGC); Grand Hyatt Manila of Federal Land Inc. (BGC);Conrad Hotel Manila of SMIC (Seaside Boulevard, Pasay City; Movenpick Hotel Manila of Picar Development Inc. (Makati); Savoy Hotel of Megaworld Corp. (Newport City); The Westin Manila of Resorts World (Newport); Sheraton Manila of Resorts World (Newport); Sheraton Manila of Resorts World (Newport); and Park Inn by Radisson of SMIC in Quezon City.

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Leechui said the Philippines should also take it as a challenge the recent criticism that it lags behind ASEAN neighbors in terms of tourist arrivals.

In the latest United Nation World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) data, the Philippines’ share in international tourism arrivals in Southeast Asian region in 2012 stood at 4.3 million as against Malaysia’s 25 million, Thailand’s 22 million and Vietnam’s 6.8 million.

“I am so excited about that (Philippines’ lagging behind) because it means there are very large market out there, all we have to do is bring them in here,” the JLL official said.

He said the Philippines has the “it” to be able to lure more tourists and investors to come.

“Business is more fun in the Philippines. Tourism is definitely one of the growth drivers of economic growth in the country,” he said, citing the overall economic reviews made by DBS, HSBC, Citigroup, S& P, Fitch Ratings, World Bank and Moody’s Investors Service.

“They all believe the Philippines is a place to be. DBS this month raised growth expectation for the Philippines and stated that the economy is once again the fastest-growing in Southeast Asia and the growth momentum is likely to be maintained in the coming quarters amid conducive domestic economic environment,” he said.

He also urged the government to address major tourism concerns such as airports, road access, and security.

The Department of Tourism is projecting foreign tourist arrivals to hit 5.5 million this year and climb to 10 million in 2016.

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