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Ayala land begins first phase of Lio resort town |

Travel and Tourism

Ayala land begins first phase of Lio resort town

Lester Gopela Hallig - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - It is becoming more apparent that exciting, and lasting, things are happening in El Nido, Palawan. The recent groundbreaking ceremonies of Lio, the first master-planned tourism estate project of Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) and the Ten Knots Group, have set this development in motion.

Lio is expected to become more than just a token resort in the renowned beach municipality. It is a 100-hectare resort town master-planned as an ecologically sustainable tourism destination.

“As a pioneer in the area of sustainability, ALI has always viewed developments beyond physical structures,” said ALI director Antonino Aquino, who led the groundbreaking rites with fellow ALI executives, Ayala Land Hotels and Resorts (AHRC) president Junie Jalandoni, Ten Knots Development Corp. president Laurent Lamasuta, and Ten Knots Philippines Inc. president Mariglo Laririt. Government officials showed up to give their support, led by Department of Tourism Assistant Secretary Eugene Kaw, Palawan Gov. Jose Alvarez, El Nido Mayor Edna Gacot-Lim, and Vice Mayor Nieves Rosento.

Aquino said, “We want to show how a development like Lio can, and will be able to benefit the people living in the area. That it is possible to establish Lio without disrupting their way of life and destroying the natural resources of the place.”

“Lio is ALI’s first venture into tourism estate development. It is planned, constructed, and managed by one developer. It is also the first master-planned eco-tourism estate in the Philippines,” he said. “Sustainability is what we are after here, which is what the other ALI projects around the country is all about. We are adapting certain principles that we have been practicing in our urban developments.”

Lio’s future features include hotels and resorts, tourism and commercial establishments, health and wellness facilities, and residential communities with world-class amenities.

“We are inviting top international resort brands who share the same vision for sustainable tourism to locate in Lio, El Nido, Palawan. There are also opportunities for local hotel brands, entrepreneurs and businessmen to invest and establish their tourism business in Lio,” Aquino said. Other potential locators are secondary homeowners looking for a vacation property away from the city, as well as retirees.

The Lio Resort Town will be developed into a charming coastal township experience which will have cozy bed and breakfast facilities, tourism establishments like dining establishments and tour services, and civic spaces planned to blend in with the natural landscape.

The Lio Resort Town will be the first feature to rise in Lio along with a 150-room resort under the Seda brand. It will be part of the first phase of Lio’s development made up of 25 hectares.

“We are resisting high-rise buildings here,” Aquino said. “We do not want tall structures to ruin the natural endowment of the place, particularly in El Nido. Just like our El Nido resorts, the structures will be camouflaged by flora and fauna.”

“Our structures will blend in with nature rather than stick out. The concept is to build them below the tree line. As in other Ayala developments, we will follow strict and proper guidelines.”

Jalandoni said, “By sustainability, we mean developing the land with the least impact to the environment. This is in line with the sustainable practice of El Nido Resorts, from planning to operations.”

“With Lio’s development, the people of El Nido will find themselves more employment and livelihood opportunities. This is our contribution to the Philippine tourism industry,” he added.

In the pipeline are an airport terminal, jetty and lounge, road networks and other utilities. According to Lio’s developers, it will be pedestrian-friendly. Guests can explore the area by foot or by bicycle, an idea encouraged by ALI.

Lio is located in Barangay Villa Libertad, El Nido, Palawan, within Bacuit Bay on the west coast of the northern portion of the province of Palawan. The property is bounded by the beach on one side and the mountains on the other with interesting water features within the site.

The Ten Knots Group, the company behind the renowned El Nido Resorts, has always solidly advocated responsible tourism and has exercised stewardship over its natural environment. For over 30 years, the Ten Knots Group has successfully balanced achieving tourism development goals, conserving the environment where it operates, and supporting the local community.

Aquino concluded: “Lio will reinforce El Nido’s reputation as a world-class destination for leisure travelers. I see it becoming another major destination for the tourists. It will broaden options for Filipinos and foreigners and allow them to see how beautiful the country is.”


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