DoubleDragon sets 3 new hotel projects despite tourism woes

Ian Nicolas Cigaral - Philstar.com
DoubleDragon sets 3 new hotel projects despite tourism woes
The property company of Edgar "Injap" Sia, whose listed firms made successful IPOs in the past, started the share sale of the new REIT company from March 5 to 11.
Double Dragon Properties Corp FB page

MANILA, Philippines — Businessman Edgar "Injap" Sia II is out to beat pandemic odds again with the launch of three new hotel projects this year even as economic recovery remains far-fetched for the battered hospitality industry.

Sia's listed real estate firm DoubleDragon Properties Corp. will start pre-selling activities for new Hotel 101 projects in Cebu, Boracay and Libis in the next 3 quarters, the company told the stock exchange on Wednesday. 

The three projects, in turn, are expected to add 2,251 new rooms to DoubleDragon's hotel portfolio. Already, Sia is confident that Hotel 101's business model would not fail him.

"As far as we are aware, Hotel 101 is the only hotel concept of its kind in the world, the patent documents for Hotel 101's unique and pioneering concept has already been filed,” he said in a statement.

According to DoubleDragon, the Hotel 101 concept allows the company to generate income twice. Once the pre-selling of the condotel units is done, DoubleDragon will earn again after the project is completed and starts generating long-term recurring revenue from hotel operations.

Even as the health crisis was showing no mercy to the entire tourism and hospitality industry, DoubleDragon said Hotel 101 "maintained high occupancy" because it provided accommodation to BPO employees especially during the height of lockdowns. Last year, Hotel 101 Manila maintained an occupancy rate of 80.11% while its counterpart in Bonifacio Global City was fully-booked, the company reported.

It is Hotel 101's "dynamic" room rates that make it attractive to guests, DoubleDragon said, as prices go up and down multiple times every day depending on the supply and demand for the specific booking period just like purchasing an airline ticket. That said, DoubleDragon expects the three new projects to contribute P11.03 billion sales revenues to the company.

“The Hotel 101 model has proven to be truly resilient," Hannah Yulo-Luccini, company chief investment officer, said.

"The completion of these new Hotel 101 projects will be perfectly timed with the full recovery and anticipated rebound in the tourism industry in the Philippines. We believe in a couple of years, all this pent up demand for tourism will cause an unseen surge in demand for hotelrooms across the country,” Yulo-Luccini added.

The launch of new projects marked another bold move for Sia, who raised P14.7 billion just last month after he bucked pandemic uncertainties through the maiden share sale of his own real estate investment trust (REIT) firm DDMP REIT. That much-awaited initial public offering was preceded by last year's debut of his grocer MerryMart Consumer Corp. where he raked in P1.6 billion.

Together with DDMP REIT, Sia said Hotel 101 will be one of DoubleDragon's growth drivers  moving forward.

"We envision DoubleDragon to soon become an investment holding company with several subsidiaries in multiple sunrise industries, and as the ultimate parent company, it will usher its subsidiaries to eventually conduct IPOs one by one when the right time comes," he said.

On Wednesday, shares in DoubleDragon shed 0.31% to close at P13.02 each.

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