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Property firm eyes more budget hotels

Posted on 10:33 PM, May 11, 2010 [ BusinessWorld Online ]

GOKONGWEI-led Robinsons Land Corp. will tap the market for casual and business travelers for its new budget hotel business, an executive said yesterday.
There will be expansion in at least three provinces, after which budget hotels will be built in destinations of the group’s budget airline.
“Gohotels.ph is a value hotel. We belong to the budget segment of the industry,” Elizabeth D. Gregorio, head of Gohotels.ph, said in a press briefing.
“Filipinos now are very mobile. There is a very strong travel market. Aside from tourism, a lot of people travel for business assignments,” Ms. Gregorio added.
The 223-room Gohotels.ph, which will start commercial operations on May 19, will occupy the fifth and sixth floors of the 17-storey prime office condominium Robinsons Cyberplaza at Pioneer Center in Mandaluyong.
Gohotels.ph will offer beds with 100% cotton sheets, rain showers, LCD television monitors, wireless Internet access, and security through magnetic keycards and a closed-circuit television system.
Ms. Gregorio said the target market is “anybody who is a smart traveler who wants to pay only for the thing he will be using.”
Early bookers who will reserve and pay for rooms months in advance will be able to avail themselves of the P388 per night rate. Budget carrier Cebu Pacific of Gokongwei-led Cebu Air, Inc. also employs the same strategy to attract more travellers.
Walk-in guests will be charged as much as P3,000 per room. Online reservation started in March.
For next three to five years, budget hotels will be built in Tacloban in Leyte, Dumaguete in Negros Oriental, Puerto Princesa in Palawan, and Ilocos Norte.
“Wherever Cebu Pacific flies, we want to be located there,” Ms. Gregorio said.
Ms. Gregorio said Gohotels.ph will offer the same “value for money” proposition in the new branches, which will have 80 to 100 rooms each.
“We are at the stage that is building awareness for the brands,” Ms. Gregorio said.
Robinsons Land owns and operates the Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn in Ortigas Center and Summit Ridge in Tagaytay.
The property unit of JG Summit Holdings, Inc. recorded a 28% increase in net income to P869.2 million in its first quarter that ended last December. It has allotted P9 billion for capital expenditures this year, which includes money to bid for government assets.
Shares in Robinsons Land, which is also into shopping malls and office buildings, rose to P14.25 each yesterday from P14.00 on Friday. -- Neil Jerome C. Morales
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