Ayala Land bullish on ecotourism estates

Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Ayala Land Inc. (ALI), the listed property giant of conglomerate Ayala Corp., is on the look out for more eco-tourism estates, recognizing this industry as a viable new leg of business.

In an email interview, Mabel Reyes, head of project development for Lio Estates said tourism estates anchored on sustainability is now an integral part of ALI’s portfolio.

Moving forward, Reyes said the property company would continue to develop similar projects in the future in other parts of the country.

 “We continue to look for other opportunities in other parts of the country for eco-estates,” Reyes told The STAR.

At present, ALI has two tourism estates – Lio  in El Nido, Palawan and Sicogon in Carles, Iloilo.

“The group recognizes tourism as a clear road map for inclusive growth as it has huge potential for development that also benefits the community while protecting the natural environment,” Reyes said.

Ayala Land Hotels and Resorts Corp. (AHRC) is bullish on the growth prospects of the tourism industry in the Philippines. 

Tourism arrivals have grown year on year reaching 7.1 million tourists in 2018. 

“Infrastructure and technology also play major roles in connecting destinations and bringing tourists to the country. It has become more convenient and affordable to travel to the island destinations of the Philippines, and to reach customers throughout the globe,” Reyes said.

Lio Tourism Estate in El Nido, Palawan is Ali’s first tourism estate. It is owned and developed by Ten Knots Philippines Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of ALI. Ten Knots Group is most well-known for the El Nido Resorts, a group of island resorts in Northern Palawan.

Ten Knots Group has operated in Palawan for over three decades with sustainability as its guiding principle – advocating responsible tourism, stewardship over the natural environment, and community engagement since its inception.

“Lio Tourism Estate is Ayala Land’s first tourism estate located in the paradise of El Nido, Palawan, masterplanned as an integrated resort community with hotels and resorts, commercial establishments, residential communities, amenities and facilities for eco-adventure and leisure travelers,” ALI said.

Lio is a 325-hectare development guided by principles of sustainability and inclusive growth ensuring least impact to the environment while benefiting the local community.

In order to improve access and logistics, first to be developed were the Lio Airport Terminal and Lio Pier, which are both conveniently located within the estate.

ALI said over 3,000 jobs would be generated by the development from construction to operations, not to mention the ancillary services and indirect jobs brought about by the tourism to the local economy.

“The community will be Lio’s primary source for manpower and supplies for the hotel construction and operations as part of the sustainable efforts to support local products,” ALI said.

Furthermore, as an estate adhering to sustainability, Lio has successfully integrated the site’s natural features, such as mangroves, lagoons, and forests, into the estate’s overall design, ALI said.

“During the planning phase, ALI conducted comprehensive ecological and environmental studies to determine development capacities and identify measure to ensure least impact to the environment. These measures that are implemented in the estate include engineering solutions, design standards and operational policies that mitigate or avoids adversely affecting the environment,” it also said.

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