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RLC to expand hotel portfolio nationwide starting next yr

By Richmond S. Mercurio (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 25, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Gokongwei-owned property developer Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC) plans to gradually grow its hotel portfolio nationwide as it eyes to open two to three hotels annually starting next year.

In an interview, RLC president Frederick Go said their hotel expansion would involve its two brands, Go Hotels and Summit.

By next month, Go said RLC will be opening an 82-room Summit hotel in its Robinsons Magnolia shopping center in Quezon City and a 104-room Go Hotel in Butuan, its first branch in Mindanao.

The Property firm also officially opened yesterday its 198-room Go Hotel in Ortigas Center, beefing up the company’s room portfolio of 2,000 rooms by 10 percent.

“This will be a very good hotel. If you look at our hotels now, only one is in Metro Manila. There’s a lot of business market here in the area. It’s quite popular so I think this will be our highest room rate hotel in the Go hotel chain,” Go said referring to Go Hotel Ortigas, its eight branch under the value hotel chain brand.

He said there are also six Go Hotels under franchise agreements which are presently under construction, five of which are in Metro Manila.

The first of those six franchised branches will open in Paranaque next year, Go said.

Aside from the Ortigas branch, there are Go Hotels in Mandaluyong, Dumaguete, Bacolod, Puerto Princesa, Tacloban, Otis Manila, and Iloilo.

RLC opened its very first Go Hotel in 2010 in a move seen to provide travelers with an essential value hotel.

“When we first launched, we had no idea what would happen. We were testing a product. After the first one, we were quite excited. We thought it could be replicated everywhere. But after some experience, the tourism market in the Philippines, (we learned that) every location has to be studied carefully before opening a hotel,” Go said.

 “It’s more important to build it right than build it fast,” he added.

At present, Go said revenue contribution of RLC’s hotel division to the company stands at 10 percent.

He said its contribution in terms of percentage is likely to remain the same in the coming years given that other businesses such as malls and offices are also growing.

“Next year will be a very good year for RLC. We expanded a lot this year so we would earn the fruits of that expansion next year,” Go said.

RLC, through its leisure and hospitality arm Robinsons Hotels & Resorts, operates Crowne Plaza Galleria Manila, Holiday Inn Galleria Manila, Summit Circle Cebu (formerly Cebu Midtown Hotel), Summit Ridge Hotel and Go Hotels.

RLC is preparing its biggest capital expenditure of up to P17 billion for its fiscal year 2015 to expand its mall, hotel and office portfolio.

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