Freeman Cebu Business

White Sands converts into a boutique resort

- Rhia de Pablo -

CEBU, Philippines – Cebu White Sands at Maribago Beach now gears up resort developments towards attaining its long-term goal of becoming the first boutique resort in Cebu.

In an interview with the chief executive officer of the Unchuan Development Corporation Francisco L. Unchuan, he said that in around seven to eight years from now, they envision Cebu White Sands to become the first ever boutique resort in Cebu.

Since their property has a limited area for further expansions, Unchuan foresees that a boutique-type of development will be suitable for Cebu White Sands, which will enable it to capture a niche market in Cebu’s tourism industry.

But Unchuan said that being a boutique hotel will require them to shift towards providing higher quality and more personalized service so they have laid out plans to achieve this future goal.

“A boutique type is more demanding because the clientele will have to expect more from you so we will need to upgrade the skills of our personnel,” said Unchuan.

He said that about three years ago, Cebu White Sands was very much different from what it looks like now because of the constant developments that they have undergone.

This year, they are looking at further developments within the resort as they plan to upgrade its facilities.

“Instead of adding more rooms, we will have to upgrade the quality of our facilities. We cannot grow any bigger in terms of land size because we also do not want to overbuild. We are conservative with our financing considering today’s crisis,” said Unchuan.

But he revealed that despite the crisis and the negative prospects of the economy, they were surprised with their performance this year because the anticipated slowdown has not yet affected their margins.

Although he said that their corporate accounts from the Mactan Export Processing Zones has started to show signs of contraction as major firms started to downsize on their expenses on corporate outings, incentives, seminars and activities.

He said that even before the economic crisis hit the world, Cebu White Sands has already been operating on a “crisis mode” and to caution the impacts of the current crisis, they will continuously look for ways to be more efficient in utilizing their resources.

“The crisis is an opportunity for us to be more efficient. Some companies may be downsizing their operations to cope with the crisis but we believe that businesses should be more aggressive. We plan to make our services more attractive and we will not definitely sacrifice the quality of our services. We will not downsize on investment to make White Sands more attractive,” said Unchuan.

And to jumpstart its feat towards becoming a boutique resort in the future, Cebu White Sands will be putting up a spa facility this year and currently it is in negotiations with a famous spa outfit in Boracay for possible partnerships.

By end of May, Unchuan said that they will have a German consultant who will streamline their operations and infuse fresh ideas into their business.

Unchuan also revealed ongoing developments undertaken in their farm at Barili, which is eyed to complement the upgrades that will be done in Cebu White Sands this year.

When the developments in the Unchuan farm are done, the resort is looking at offering optional tours to Barili for their guests who want to experience farm ambiance.

By November this year, the resort also targets to finish its Christmas Village at the center of the resort that will also become an activity venue wherein craft making could be done as added activities and attractions to its guests which is 70 percent foreign-based.

The Cebu White Sands in Maribago Beach currently has 50 rooms; it was established in December of 1995 and is a company-owned and operated resort.












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