Cebu Landmasters Inc. (PSE: CLI) is collaborating to put up more hotel projects with The Ascott Limited in the Visayas and Mindanao.
Jose Soberano III, Cebu Landmasters chief executive officer, says the company sees opportunity as the projected growth in tourist arrivals would require additional capacity. “The Philippines pales in comparison to our Asean neighbors,” he says, citing Thailand and Malaysia as examples.
The Philippines has less than seven million tourists in 2018. On the other hand, Thailand reported over 38 million tourists in 2018 while Malaysia had more than 25 million tourists.
“Even a place like Bali has about the same (number of tourists) when compared to our national level,” Soberano says. He explains that the country has to have additional capacity to be able to attract more tourists, including the big conventions market.
“Just like any undertaking when you see an opportunity, we’d like to take advantage of this and make this part of our growth strategy. Also, it makes a lot of sense for a real estate company like ours who also want to grow the recurring business side of our revenue base,” Soberano explains.
To succeed in this venture, Cebu Landmasters has found the fitting partner to manage their hotel projects – the Ascott group, one of the leading international serviced residence owner-operator globally.
The Ascott group has seven brands: Ascott, catering to the high-end market; Citadines for young professionals; Somerset, popular for executives and their families; The Crest Collection, heritage properties; lyf, a co-living serviced residence concept designed for millennials; Quest Apartment Hotels with locations in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and UK; and very recently, Tauzia Hotels from Indonesia. The Ascott Group now has over 100,000 rooms globally.
“We are now Ascott’s biggest owner-developer-partner in the Philippines,” says CLI’s senior vice-president and chief operating officer Jose Franco Soberano.
Both companies entered into a partnership agreement for Citadines Cebu, Davao and Bacolod, lyf in Cebu and are exploring other potential areas in the VisMin.
“We are expanding our presence to Gensan, Butuan and Ormoc this year. That’s the beauty of Ascott partnering with CLI because we are really spread out in the key growth cities in VisMin,” Soberano says.
At present, CLI has 800 rooms that will be managed by Ascott but the company plans to double the number of rooms by 2022.
Soberano feels optimistic with the partnership given Ascott’s strong presence around the world, its reputable brand and recall. “We are confident that the proven system that Ascott has and its innovative guest experience will make a mark in the hopsitality industry where CLI is present.”
Their first project together which will open this summer, the Citadines Cebu City, a class of its own and also the first branded serviced apartment in Cebu that caters to both short and long-stay clients.
All units come with fully functioning kitchen, separate work and living areas, home entertainment and broadband Internet connection. The 22-floor tower will also feature a swimming pool, fitness center, commercial spaces, dining and retail outlets. Ideally located in the heart of Cebu, the property is close to medical tourism facilities, government offices and schools.