Freeman Cebu Business

Cebu-based developer targets CDO for next luxury project

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman
Cebu-based developer targets CDO for next luxury project
Samantha Manigsaca, Assistant VP for Hospitality of AppleOne Group, Inc,, during The Freeman Business Forum "Trends That Shape Cebu's Tourism Landscape" on April 12, 2024 at Bai Hotel, Mandaue City, Cebu.
Ehda M. Dagooc

CEBU, Philippines — Property developer AppleOne Group announced its entry into Mindanao, targeting Cagayan de Oro (CDO) as its next prime location for another luxury brand hotel in 2024.

“AppleOne will continuously define trends and lead the way in elevating industry standards in all residential, commercial, and hospitality sectors, bringing in global brands, which will allow Visayas and Mindanao to be known and recognized worldwide because of the captured market that these brands can bring into our region,” said AppleOne Group, Inc., assistant vice president for hospitality Samantha Manigsaca.

CDO is one of Mindanao's highly urbanized and fastest growing major cities and is expected to become the Philippines’ fourth metropolitan area by 2025, according to the Philippine Development Plan for 2023-2028. This is due to its projected population growth and strategic location as a gateway and logistics hub for Northern Mindanao.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Northern Mindanao reported a remarkable 9.4 percent growth rate for CDO, reflected in its increasing share of the national GDP in 2022, positioning it third behind established urbanized areas like Davao and Cebu.

Considering these factors, AppleOne’s expansion into Cagayan de Oro is a strategic move, Manigsaca said. Starting in the greater Visayas area, AppleOne is now developing the JW Marriott Panglao Island Resort & Spa in Bohol.

The Cebu-based company, which developed several hotel and resort facilities such as Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort, Club Serena Resort in Moalboal, Cebu, Diamond Suites and Residences, among others anticipates a surprising turn-around in the hospitality business, coming from a depressing COVID-19 infused slump since 2020.

Manigsaca expects a vibrant hospitality and tourism performance for the rest of 2024 in Visayas and Mindanao, observing the positive trends in its hospitality business backed by the strong support of the Department of Tourism (DOT).

“With the diverse nationalities of our inbound tourist arrivals, the most common drive for them to travel is for leisure, where the adventures come in, relaxing on the white sand beaches, our rich culture and history, and even wellness tourism,” she said.

Manigsaca made this comment following Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco’s pronouncement that Mindanao in particular is playing a significant role in the country’s tourism transformation, during the second Mindanao Tourism Expo (MTEx).

During the expo, Frasco highlighted the implementation of infrastructure projects in Mindanao, such as tourist rest areas (TRAs), aimed at both attracting tourists and enhancing their experience for repeat visits.

Manigsaca echoed this view and said that Mindanao is one of the top-of-mind destinations for local and international travelers.

Tourism in Mindanao has been a major driver of the local economy’s growth for decades. For example, the Department of Tourism recorded at least 7.1 million tourist arrivals in Mindanao in 2022.

Likewise, Manigsaca expressed confidence that Visayas, the company’s home region, will continue to thrive, with the island province of Cebu at the forefront. Cebu alone saw a 283.35 percent increase in tourist arrivals in 2023 versus the year prior.

Manigsaca mentioned how Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), the largest international airline hub outside Metro Manila plays a critical role in the rising number of inbound tourists arriving directly at Mactan.

MCIA connects to 28 local destinations across the Philippines via 8 airlines, and it also services 17 international carriers that bridge Cebu to multiple prime international destinations.

“And for us to meet this increasing demand brought about by the boom of travel and tourism, real estate investments now become a center of attention, because we believe that there is still a huge opportunity that Cebu still has to offer,” she said.

While AppleOne already has the Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort and Residences, as well as its business and lifestyle hub, the Mahi Center in Cebu, it still sees phenomenal potential in the rest of the Visayas and Mindanao region, by making great strides in expanding its footprint.

During her speech at the recent The Freeman Tourism Forum themed “Trends That Shaped Cebu’s Tourism Landscape,” Manigsaca emphasized the company’s dedication to delivering world-class hospitality services and facilities to Cebu, as well as the broader Visayas and Mindanao regions. This commitment is driven by the Group’s optimistic outlook on tourism in Southern Philippines in the post-pandemic era.

She said AppleOne Group, Inc., pledged to continue its support for the government, working alongside the DOT, Local Government Units (LGUs), and the private sector. She expressed her hope that all stakeholders will contribute to enhancing the tourism and hospitality industry in the VisMin region, which includes investing in infrastructure to connect these islands.

Founded by Ray and Venus Manigsaca, AppleOne is a Cebu-based property developer known for its landmarks of strength and iconic partnerships, along with multi-awarded projects that compete on a global stage. Its vision and mission are deeply rooted in its desire to elevate the lives and living conditions of fellow Cebuanos.

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