By Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) Updated May 10, 2010 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines - Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) is investing around P2 billion in the Ten Knots Group, which owns and operates the world-class El Nido Resorts, located at the northwestern tip of the province of Palawan.
ALI investor relations officer Alfie Reyes, said the P2 billion will cover the property giant’s acquisition of a 60-percent interest in a new company to be set up in joint venture with the Ten Knots Group and the development of new “responsible tourism destinations” in Palawan.
Reyes said ALI and Ten Knots Group are currently evaluating their options and are scouting for other locations that could be developed into eco-friendly vacation spots.
For one, the group is looking at a “high-end” El Nido resort in Pangulasian Island, which is targeted to open by mid-2011.
The investment in Ten Knots Group is seen to fortify ALI’s presence in resort and leisure development and help boost the country’s tourism industry, which has been lagging behind its neighbors due to a lack of infrastructure.
Foreign tourist arrivals in the Philippines rose nearly eight percent in the first quarter of the year, with one fifth of it coming from South Korea followed by the United States and Japan.
The Ten Knots Group, through Asian Conservation Co. (ACC) was declared winner of the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Award in 2009 and was one of 15 Favorite Green HOtels recognized by Travel Leisure magazine in 2007.
ALI forayed into the resort and leisure segment with Anvaya Cove, a premiere residential enclave and resort in Morong, Bataan, that is also active in marine conservation in the area. This was followed by a similar development called Amara in Cebu.
El Nido is about 420 kilometers southwest of Manila, is the most luxurious exclusive resort in the area.
Bent on further making a big presence in the tourism industry, ALI is expanding its first leisure project, the 323-hectare Anvaya Cove to launch more developments within the area.