By JADE LOPEZ, Reporter
IN recognition of Cebu’s upbeat tourism industry, a Manila-based Filipino hotel group is eyeing to develop its property here to strengthen its niche in tapping overseas Filipinos and domestic travelers.
“We have been eyeing at Cebu for a long time now,” said Legend Hotel International Corp. Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Favoreal, adding that the company is planning to expand into the lucrative but highly competitive temporary accommodations market in Cebu.
“The next step for us is to build hotels here,” he said.
The Legend Hotel group owns a 1.3-hectare property along Archbishop Reyes Avenue, situated just beside the city’s business center, the Cebu Business Park. The property used to be the location of the historic Magellan Hotel.
Favoreal said should the confidence of investors in the Philippine economy starts picking up, the company is looking at breaking ground within the next two to three years.
He identified key cities like Cebu provide a significant market for their various brands in Metro Manila. Always on the lookout for quality budget accommodations, overseas Filipino workers, entrepreneurs and traveling professionals prefer staying in a Legend Hotel, he added.
“Returning OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) come in from abroad, they also spend a night in Manila in Legend’s Mabuhay Manor and Legend Villas before heading off to the provinces,” said Favoreal in an interview recently.
The Legend Group, which maintains close to 1,000 rooms in 11 properties mostly in Metro Manila as well as the Legend Palawan in Puerto Princesa, is wrapping up several projects, which aims to solidify its position in grabbing the domestic travel market.
The group just opened its new park-bed-breakfast concept for travelers coming into Metro Manila and is now completing a high-rise three-in-one hotel in Ermita.
Favoreal said the Ermita property will host the group’s signature brand, Kabayan Hotel, for budget travelers, the upper-end Pads by Legend, and a super-budget inn/dormitory facility for job hunters and transients in the Manila area.
“In most cases the domestic market has long been overlooked by international hotel brands that’s why we are capitalizing on them now,” Favoreal said.
He noted for every one foreign traveler in the country, there are 11 Filipinos moving around the country. However, close to 70 percent of the business here are controlled by the high-end hotels catering to foreigners.