WPI sets renovation of all Waterfront hotels-A A +A
Monday, August 20, 2012
OFFICIALS of publicly-listed Waterfront Philippines Inc. (WPI) said on Saturday they will renovate all of their hotels to keep up with competition.
Officials said they are constantly looking for possible hotel acquisitions to boost their business portfolio.
In a media briefing, WPI chairman Renato Magadia said they will be acquiring a 500-room hotel in Manila to add to its Manila Pavilion and G-Hotel.
Magadia declined to provide any other detail regarding the planned acquisition but
said talks are now being formalized.
If the planned acquisition of the “old hotel” will push through, it will be WPI’s sixth hotel in its chain.
WPI is also the hotel operator of Waterfront Cebu Hotel and Casino (WCHC), Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino Mactan (WAHC) and Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao.
WPI president Kenneth Gatchalian said that aside from improving WCHC, the company will also invest to improve the rooms and amenities of WAHC next year.
The company has yet to disclose the planned renovation cost as they are currently working on the renovation of Manila Pavillion.
“The hotel business is competitive and given that we are a Filipino hotel-chain, it is difficult for us to compete when it comes to building new hotels. So the focus of the company now is on improving our hotel chains,” Magadia said at the sidelines of WPI’s annual stockholder’s meeting on Saturday.
Speaking before stockholders, Gatchalian described 2011 as another “trying year” for the tourism and travel industry, citing events like the tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan, conflicts and political upheavals in the Arab region and the economic crisis in Europe.
He said the hospitality industry posted a flat growth due to China’s travel ban to the Philippines over the Quirino Grandstand hostage crisis in 2010 and the recent political tension between the governments of China and the Philippine. He said these are on top of the lack of investment in transport and tourism infrastructure and lagging investment in information and communications technology.
WPI’s main markets are China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Although, the hotels were adversely affected by trip cancellations from these markets, Gatchalian said WPI managed to achieve its targets through product developments.
WPI hotel operations generated P2 billion last year. Rooms contributed 30 percent or P607.41 million, while food and beverage put in a share of 29 percent or P584.01 million.
Officials said WPI will continue to increase its marketing efforts in both online and offline channels.
Magadia said they will continue forming partnerships with numerous travel agencies and partners this year as well as employ innovations like QR codes for promotion collaterals, creation of official e-newsletter and enhancement of web services. WPI also upgraded their Property Management Systems to upgrade efficiency, and to ensure steady operations.
Gatchalian also said they will tap non-traditional markets to ensure a steady flow of hotel guests.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 21, 2012.