Resorts World Manila will swamp the market with 900 new rooms with the opening of three hotels – on top of the existing four within the IR compound – in the coming months, but industry observers believe the additional inventory can be absorbed by the growing number of business and leisure travellers to the metro.
The 357-key Hilton Manila is scheduled to open in 3Q2018, followed by a 191-key Okura and a 350-key Sheraton, adding to four existing hotels including a Maxim (to be rebranded Ritz Carlton next year), Remington (to be rebranded Holiday Inn Express), Marriott which added 227 rooms in late 2016, and homegrown brand Belmont.
Kevin Tan, executive director of Alliance Global Group, Genting Group’s partner in RWM, said in a CNBC interview last month that the new openings will be part of RWM’s phase three expansion, which also includes a new casino set to “almost double the current gaming capacity we have right now”.
Colliers International research manager Joey Bondoc said RWM’s new hotels are in keeping with his recommendation for operators to continue developing four- and five-star accommodations in key business districts as he foresaw continued arrivals from major visitor source markets with the improvement of the country’s infrastructure and aggressive tourism marketing.
Bondoc also said RWM’s new hotels will be “propelled by expanding activities in key business districts” in Manila, including the growing number of business process outsourcing offices, and an ideal complement to RWM’s gaming and retail shops.
Mike Hain, groups manager of Corporate International Travel and Tours, said RWM’s new hotels are ultimately good for the market, where “hotels dictate the price” due to the limited choices. That’s why “if you compare hotels here with those in Asia, even for the same hotel brand, we’re more expensive,” he remarked.
Hilton Manila general manager Simon McGrath said that apart from the corporate sector, the leisure market including staycation and tour groups will be drawn to the area’s proximity to airports, high-end shopping, F&B options, and what he says is the hotel’s unique selling point – a huge swimming pool and large jacuzzi that will be shared by Hilton and Sheraton.