Freeman Cebu Business

Global management firm eyeing partnership deals

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Global serviced-residence operator and management company Ascott Limited is eyeing partner deals with at least six more properties in Cebu in the next couple of years.

This aggressive entry to Cebu is accelerated by the company due to the "hard-to-ignore" growth of tourism in the province, said Arthur Gindap, The Ascott Limited regional general manager for Philippines and Thailand.

Cebu he said, will play an important role in the company's plan to manage at least 30 to 40 properties in the Philippines by 2020.

 "Cebu is a story outside of Metro Manila," Gindap said adding that while it continues toshow strength in tourism, it is also attracting business and corporate clients all year-round because of its advantage in MICE (meetings, incentives, conference and exhibitions).

At present, the Singapore-based hospitality management firm is partnering with two local developers for its two separate brands of serviced-apartments — the Citadines, and Somerset.

Gindap said the company has been eyeing Cebu in the last few years, but it is only this year that it has been able to find right partners to help them in their entry to the lucrative hospitality business in Cebu.

What is making Cebu the hottest destination for expansion, especially among tourism-related multinational companies, Gindap said is the upcoming opening of a second airport terminal, which is seen to magnify Cebu's tourism sector, as well as those in other provinces in Southern Philippines.

Ascott is now on constant lookout for possible property partners to realize its aggressive expansion plans in Cebu.

 The Ascott Limited is a Singaporean company that has grown to be the world's largest international serviced residence owner-operator. It has over 29,000 operating serviced residence units in key cities of the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, as well as over 17,000 units which are under development, making a total of more than 47,000 units in over 290 properties.

A wholly owned subsidiary of CapitaLand Limited, pioneered Asia Pacific's first international-class serviced residence with the opening of The Ascott Singapore in 1984. It entered the Philippines in the year 2000. (FREEMAN)

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