AppleOne bullish on VisMin tourism prospects

The Philippine Star
AppleOne bullish on VisMin tourism prospects
Samantha Manigsaca
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The rest of 2024 is looking bright for the hospitality and tourism industry in Visayas and Mindanao, said Samantha Manigsaca, assistant VP for Hospitality at AppleOne Group Inc.

Manigsaca, for one, said Mindanao is a top destination for both local and international travelers, with tourism being a major driver of the local economy for decades. For instance, the Department of Tourism recorded at least 7.1 million tourist arrivals in Mindanao in 2022.

“With diverse nationalities among our inbound tourist arrivals, leisure is the primary motivator, offering adventures, relaxation on white sand beaches, rich culture and history and wellness tourism,” said Manigsaca.

She is likewise optimistic about Visayas’ continued growth, particularly highlighting Cebu’s prominence. Cebu experienced a 283.35 percent increase in tourist arrivals in 2023 compared to the previous year.

She emphasized the role of Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), the largest international airline hub outside Metro Manila, in facilitating the rising number of inbound tourists directly to Mactan.

“To meet this increasing demand in travel and tourism, real estate investments have become a focal point, as we believe Cebu still offers significant opportunities,” she added.

While AppleOne already operates the Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort and Residences and the Mahi Center in Cebu, it sees potential in expanding its presence across Visayas and Mindanao.

Expanding in the greater Visayas, AppleOne is developing the JW Marriott Panglao Island Resort & Spa in Bohol. Additionally, this year, AppleOne plans to expand to Mindanao, targeting Cagayan de Oro (CDO) for another luxury hotel.

CDO, one of the fastest-growing major cities in Mindanao, is expected to become the Philippines’ fourth metropolitan area by 2025. This is attributed to its projected population growth and strategic location as a gateway and logistics hub for Northern Mindanao. Given these factors, AppleOne’s expansion into Cagayan de Oro is strategic.

“AppleOne will continuously set trends and elevate industry standards in residential, commercial, and hospitality sectors, introducing global brands that will promote Visayas and Mindanao worldwide due to the captured market these brands can bring to our region,” Manigsaca said.

AppleOne Group, Inc., pledges to continue supporting the government, alongside the DOT, LGUs and the private sector. Manigsaca hopes that all stakeholders will contribute to boosting the VisMin tourism and hospitality industry, including investing in infrastructure to better connect these islands.

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