by : Rhony Laigo
Microtel Philippines, part of the Wyndham hotel chain, will build more hotels thereby offering more rooms as it looks to a bullish Philippine tourism industry that is expected to double if not reach 10 million tourists in the next few years.
In a U.S. roadshow presentation, Microtel Philippines officials said they plan to expand to the Bicol Peninsula and Subic while the new Microtel branch at the Ayala UP Technohub near the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City is expected to open later this year.
Microtel Philippines Director Albert Banaag who, along with Mindanao Area General Manager Rene Alberto Jorolan flew all the way from Manila, met with Los Angeles-based Fil-Am journalists in Glendale last Tuesday and said they expect to have 25 Microtel Philippines Inns & Suites up from the current number of 11 by 2016. Each Microtel Philippines Inns & Suites has at least 50 “safe and clean” rooms.
According to Banaag, the first Microtel in the Philippines was built in Tarlac near Hacienda Luisita in 2006, which was the first international hotel suite chain of its kind to operate in the Philippines. But while the three-star U.S.- hotel chain obviously has tourists in mind, local visitors make up to about 65% of their market as they are “affordable, family-friendly and new” and offers the latest amenities that many 5-star hotels lack.
Apart from Tarlac and the soon-to-open Ayala UP Technohub Microtel suites, they are also in Acropolis (Quezon City), Baguio, Batangas, Boracay, Cabanatuan, Cavite, Davao, General Santos, Palawan, Sta. Rosa (Laguna) bannered by the only hotel chain located at the Mall of Asia complex in Manila. The Mall of Asia Microtel is a huge hotel with 150 rooms available for occupancy.
The average price for a Microtel suite for a family of four is about $85, including taxes. This comes with two queen-size beds and better yet, they come with free breakfasts.
Tuesday’s presentation came in the wake of the latest announcements from Malacañang of a spike in tourist arrivals in the Philippines. Philippine Consul Marlowe Miranda, speaking on behalf of the Philippine government, told the members of the media that there has been an 11 percent increase in the number of foreign visitors coming to the Philippines in the first seven months compared to the same period last year.
Miranda said Koreans continue to be the top market for the Philippines with more than 700,000 visitors coming in which accounts for a 25.26 percent rise, followed by the U.S. market with more than 417,000 arrivals.
What’s surprising, however, is that while trouble seems to be brewing between the Philippines and China, the Chinese posted the largest increase in tourist arrivals for the first seven months, increasing by 48.58 percent. (Rhony Laigo)