A 1,001-key hotel being built in Boracay – set to become the country’s biggest – is creating some unease within the trade about potential damage to the island, which is already reeling from flooding, water contamination, mass tourism among other concerns.
Double Dragon Properties announced the construction of its “eco-friendly greenenergized” Hotel 101 Resort-Boracay, part of the 150ha Boracay Newcoast estate that will also include other hotels, residential condominiums and villages, a golf course and commercial facilities.
Jojo Clemente, president, Tourism Congress of the Philippines, expressed concerns over the impacts this large-scale hotel will have on Boracay’s carrying capacity.
“Personally, I think Boracay should be given time to ‘heal’ itself as we have already seen problems that have arisen especially during peak periods. To build a mega infrastructure like Hotel 101 may strain the island more,” said Clemente.
“It’s an investment first and foremost, and we cannot fault Double Dragon for that. It will create jobs, revenues and more capacity. Moreover, if they plan to develop it in an environmentally-friendly way, that is very welcome. Hopefully, they can implement that to relieve the sustainability issue that would inevitably arise,” he added.
Simon Ang, managing director Let’s Celebrate Life Travel & Leisure, is appalled that the hotel project “will seal the coffin” for Boracay.
“Hotel 101 should have had more conscience,” Ang remarked, as he questioned “the kind of people that they pull in and how these people treat the environment”.
“Boracay is not alone in the conundrum of urban resort tourism,” said Bill Barnett, managing director of consultancy C9 Hotelworks. “The Philippines is simply tracking a trend of Chinacation in all of Asia’s resort markets.
“What is more worrying aside from the sheer size of Hotel 101 is that the average length of stay for Chinese is short, say 2.2 to 2.3 days, so the stress on airports, ground handling and more important tourism attractions is enormous,” said Barnett.
He further pointed out that Chinese travellers do not want to spend their holidays in hotels, and demand days packed with activities, which “likely means Boracay needs more demand generators versus just its famed beaches”.
At press time, Double Dragon did not respond to TTG Asia‘s queries about its mega Boracay project.