Cebu Landmasters, Ascott partner for VisMin hotel expansion

CEBU Landmasters Inc. is collaborating to put up more hotel projects with The Ascott Ltd. in the Visayas and Mindanao. Jose Soberano III, Cebu Landmasters CEO, said the company sees many opportunities for collaboration between the two firms given a projected growth in tourist arrivals and the need for additional capacity.

“In terms of tourist arrival, the Philippines pales in comparison with our Asean neighbors,” Soberano said, citing Thailand and Malaysia as examples. The Philippines had less than 7 million tourists in 2018. Thailand reported over 38 million tourists in 2018, while Malaysia had more than 25 million tourists.

“Even a place like Bali had about the same number of tourists as our national level,” he said.

The country needs additional capacity to be able to attract more tourists, including the big conventions market, Soberano said.

“We see many opportunities where we can take advantage of this and will make this part of our growth strategy—especially as a means to boost the recurring business of our revenue base,” Soberano said.

To succeed in this venture, Cebu Landmasters intends to tap the Ascott group and its range of brands, such as 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 coliving serviced residence concept designed for millennials; Quest Apartment Hotels with locations in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the 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,” CLI’s senior vice-president and COO Jose Franco Soberano said.

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 area.

“CLI is building more projects in Gensan, Butuan and Ormoc this year.  We will also naturally explore the need for hotels in these areas,” Franco Soberano said.

At present, CLI has 800 rooms that will be managed by Ascott, but the company plans to double the number of rooms by 2022.

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.


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