Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria in Ortigas has started working with PCOs to grow its foreign-sourced business events currently comprising just 10 per cent of the pie, with the remainder dominated by local ones.
Newly appointed general manager Gaurav Rai, is targeting to gradually increase the share of foreign business events to 15 per cent this year, 20 per cent in 2018 and to 35 per cent in 2020.
Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria's Gaurav Rai
With Crowne Plaza’s foreign business events mainly sourced from the US and Australia – both with very strong business process outsourcing in Ortigas – Rai is expanding the net to include Hong Kong, China, Singapore, India and the Australia sub-continent which are active in the PCO segment.
He explained that these five markets are “very doable” with short flight distances to Manila, good airport connectivity, and many flights coming in from these countries. They also have a “good base of corporate clients that the hotel can grow (and) deliver the experiences that they are looking for”.
He emphasised the strategic location of Manila with extension options to Cebu, Clark and Boracay, compared to Thailand where many business events have been held repetitively, and Singapore and Hong Kong which can be very expensive.
Japan, while mainly leisure at the moment, is also a potential market. “With Japan’s prime minister coming here recently, I think it will have a strong corporate impact and if that happened, we want to be at the forefront,” said Rai who recently sent his director of sales and marketing on a Japan visit.
“We want to continue to stick to our brand which is a conference and meetings hotel,” stressed Rai, whose two hotels are undergoing extensive renovation “for better customer experience and better value for money”.