By Louella D. Desiderio (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 15, 2013 - 12:00am
CEBU, Philippines – The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and SM Hotels and Conventions Corp. (SMHCC) have signed an agreement to open the P500 million 150-room Park Inn by Radisson in Clark in Pampanga in 2016.
SMHCC president Elizabeth Sy told reporters yesterday the new mid-scale hotel, which will be adjacent to the existing SM City Clark and within the Clark Freeport Zone, is the first of the 10 Park Inn hotels being planned by both Carlson Rezidor and SMHCC within the decade.
“We’ve been discussing we want a rollout of Park Inns. These Park Inns will have to be where the malls are,” she said.
Carlson Rezidor president for Asia Pacific Simon Barlow added that apart from being located close to a mall, they would want the Park Inn hotel to be near a meetings and conventions venue as such generates demand for an accommodation facility.
The two groups have identified the Mall of Asia in Pasay City, North EDSA in Quezon City and Iloilo City as potential sites for the upcoming Park Inns.
Sy said SMHCC would need until next month to identify other potential locations.
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This, as she noted that the locations need to be evaluated carefully.
“We study the demographics, the market. You’d be surprised that some of the cities that you’d think would be potential ones, don’t turn out to be, (so) we have to back-off,” she said.
She also said that each Park Inn hotel would have between 150 to 200 rooms.
Barlow said there is potential to expand the Park Inn hotel brand here as the government aims to increase not just foreign tourist arrivals, but domestic travel as well.
“The combination of those three components, the mall, the SMX (convention center) and then the hotel, makes an enormous sense when the country is opening up its domestic travel profile,” he said.
He also said that as Carlson Rezidor aims to expand in Asia Pacific to have a total of 200 hotels by 2018 in the region, the Philippines is seen as an important market given the growing population, improving income of individuals as well as the increased spending for infrastructure which are all seen to encourage travel.
“I’d like to think one of the cornerstones of our growth in five years time would be the Philippines. We’ve targeted the big population countries of Asia (such as) India, China, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand. These five countries are the countries we are targeting very strongly and those five countries represent the largest populations in the region today,” he said.
Carlson Rezidor currently has two hotels in the country under its partnership with SMHCC.
In September 2010, Carlson Rezidor established the first Radisson Blu hotel in Asia Pacific, Radisson Blu Cebu with SMHCC.