Freeman Cebu Business

Demand for hotel facilities seen to increase this year

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Demand for hotel facilities in the Philippines is expected to surge this year with the arrival of more international tourists and the opening of international direct flight routes, along with Filipinos’ growing propensity to spend on leisure-related expenses.

Experts at Colliers Philippines believe that with this expected increase in hotel facilities demand, accommodation rates are also seen to increase.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that the tourism sector’s share of the country’s economy reached 5.2 percent in 2021, from 5.1 percent in 2020.

Meanwhile, domestic tourism expenditures reached PHP783 billion (USD13.3 billion) in 2021, up 39 percent  YOY (year-on-year).

The Department of Tourism (DOT) expressed optimism that the removal of mask mandates is likely to lure more travelers to visit the country.

DOT targets 4.8 million international tourists by 2023. This is after the Philippines recorded 2.46 million tourist arrivals as of December 19. Yet this is but a third of pre-pandemic tourist arrivals.

“We are optimistic that we will reach 2.5 million by end of the year. If this happens, then we would have about 30 percent of our pre-pandemic arrivals. A far cry from the 164,000  visitors that we received in 2021,” said  DOT Secretary  Christina Frasco.

In her yearend report, Frasco reported estimated tourism receipts as of November 20 stood at  P149 billion.

The United States remained the top source market with 461,967, or 19 percent of the total. This was followed by South Korea, 387,780; Australia, 122,971; Canada, 112,015;  United Kingdom, 93,440; Japan, 91,557; Singapore,  50,964; India, 49,330; Malaysia, 44,357 and; Vietnam, 37,028.

The DOT attributed the increase in arrivals to the relaxation of border restrictions to foreign tourists last February 10.

Frasco said the numbers indicate Philippines tourism is “back in business.”

Recently, the Gokongwei-led low-cost airline Cebu Pacific (CEB) expects a 100 percent back to business—connecting all its domestic and international flights at least in the next two months.

Flights particularly in the domestic routes, as well as major international destinations offered before the Covid-19 travel disruption, will be back into operation by March this year, this was announced by CEB president and chief commercial officer, Xander Lao.

CEB, which has restored 92 percent of its pre-COVID capacity since December 2022, will connect passengers to more places by increasing the frequencies of these international destinations.

“Our focus is really to bring back all the ones [flights] we had to suspend that’s the priority,” explained Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific’s Chief Marketing, and Customer Experience Officer.

“Today, we are happy to say that we have now restored 100 percent of our pre-pandemic capacity. We are back!” Iyog said expressing confidence that with the momentum now, “we expect significant growth coming from our international in 2023.”


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