By Arra B. Francia, Reporter
THE local operator of Dusit Thani hotels is scouting for more locations to expand the international hotel brand’s footprint in the country, alongside the completion of nine projects in the next three years.
Philippine Hoteliers, Inc. (PHI) has identified four new locations where it is currently in talks with partners to develop hotels under the Dusit brand.
“We’re looking at Palawan… Coron. We already have a location that we’re looking at, just looking at the legal aspects. We have signed an indication of interest. Then Siargao is also nice. And hopefully we can close a Boracay one,” PHI President and Vice-Chairman Evelyn R. Singson told reporters on the sidelines of a press conference last week.
Ms. Singson added the company is eyeing another potential location within the Makati area, where an existing Dusit Thani Manila is located.
Aside from these new locations, PHI is in the middle of adding nine hotels to its portfolio by 2021. Three of these projects will be in Cebu, including the Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu Resort developed with Robinsons Land Corp., and dusitD2 Hotel with the Gaisano group.
Three more are under development in Davao, all in partnership with Torre Lorenzo Development Corp. (TLDC). These are Dusit Thani Hotel at Lubi Plantation in Davao Gulf, Dusit Thani Residence Davao, and dusitD2 Hotel. Another partnership with TLDC is the Dusit Princess Lipa Hotel, due for completion in 2021.
Dusit Waves is also being built in La Union, a popular spot for surfers.
This year, PHI is scheduled to open a dusitD2 hotel in Bonifacio Global City (BGC). It will offer 125 rooms along with 175 serviced apartments that are owned by the Limcaoco family.
Located next to the dusitD2, the Dusit Hospitality Management College will be run in collaboration with Switzerland’s École hôtelière de Lausanne and France’s Institut Paul Bocus. It is scheduled to start accepting enrollees in the next school year, and will be fully integrated with dusitD2 to allow students to directly train in the hotel.
Ms. Singson noted the school will help meet the demand for employees for the Dusit hotels once they are completed.
PHI’s aggressive expansion comes on the back of the country’s strong economic growth, which Ms. Singson noted is one of the fastest in the world.
“We believe that there’s a lot of potential. The Philippines is so naturally beautiful… We just have to improve our infrastructure, offer more accommodation. Our peace and order has to be assured, and maybe improve our airports. The potential is there, and we are seeing that,” Ms. Singson said.