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Japanese hotel chain opens first Philippine branch in Mandaue

CEBU, Philippines - Japanese hotel chain Toyoko Inn opened its first branch in the Philippines in Mandaue City, Cebu yesterday banking on the growing demand in the accommodation sector here.

President and CEO Maiko Kuroda said the company is bullish on the hotel industry in Cebu supported by its growing tourism sector.

The Japanese economy hotel is adding a total of 582 rooms to Cebu's expanding accommodation sector, employing around 170 workers.

She noted the growing number of foreign and domestic travelers in Cebu.

In an interview at the grand opening of the hotel yesterday, Kuroda announced the firm is keen on expanding in the Philippines in the next five to 10 years amid its tourism growth.

She noted that Cebu remains a key interest of the company as far as expansion plans are concerned.

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The CEO said the hotel company may open at least five more hotels in the country, with Cebu and Manila as target areas for expansion.

Toyoko Inn Cebu is right above the J Centre Mall in Mandaue, owned by Cebuano businessman Justin Uy. The hotel is leasing the property of Uy.

Uy said the hotel's construction cost reached about P1.2 billion, excluding the amenities.

Mandaue City Mayor Luigi Quisumbing said the new hotel is a boost to the current lack of accommodation facilities in the city.

He said this investment is a testament to the good business relations between Japan and Philippines particularly Cebu.

Toyoko first opened its hotel in Kamata, Tokyo in 1986 and has since grown into one of Japan's biggest hotel chains.

Currently the hotel firm has more than 50,000 guest rooms in various countries it is present including South Korea, Cambodia, Japan and Germany. It has 256 hotels in Japan alone.

The company is also looking to enter the US and France markets.

Meanwhile, in a recent research, Pinnacle Real Estate Consulting Services noted that the healthy occupancy and room-rate level bode well for the Cebu hotel market.

Pinnacle estimates the Metro Cebu market has a total of approximately 9,500 hotel rooms with star-classification. This total stock as of 2016 grew from 7,800 rooms in 2015, or an increase of 22 percent.

Even with the increase, average occupancy increased to 90 percent last year, as compared to 85 percent in 2015, the property consultant said. (FREEMAN)

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