THE rise of a market that demands more “experiential travel” has led a five-star resort in Mactan Island to launch new services that provide luxurious ways of experiencing Cebu and nearby destinations.
Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa unveiled its five-star journeys last Friday as it refreshed its service fleet, which now includes a yacht, speedboat, helicopter, and luxury sedan.
“We are redefining the statement ‘We have arrived’,” said Rene Egle, the resort’s general manager.
“We want our guests to experience world-class comfort and sophistication even in transit, whether it is upon touchdown or departure, in a city tour or in an expedition across the islands.”
These transport services, according to Eglé, are not only meant to transport resort guests from and to the airport but can also be booked for exclusive parties or a tour of some of the region’s exciting tourism spots like Bohol Province and Oslob in southern Cebu.
“Our aim is to give our guests the best possible five-star journey there is,” Egle said.
Leading the resort’s new service fleet is a yacht, the Celandine, built by the oldest leisure marine company in the world, Camper & Nicholsons Shipyard, in 1960. The yacht can accommodate up to 40 guests for cocktail events and 12 for sit-down dinners.
The speedboat Rainbow Runner, on the other hand, can shuttle up to 15 passengers per trip. The speedboat will be used for airport transfers, departing from the Cebu Yacht Club to the Shangri-La Boat Jetty and vice-versa.
It will also be deployed to transfer guests to Cebu City.
The resort also offers air taxi services via the McDonnell Douglas MD500E helicopter, operated by the Asian Aerospace Corp. It can seat three passengers and is ideal for airport transfers, city transfers, and chartered trips.
Completing the fleet is a BMW 5 Series luxury sedan, now part of the resort’s limousine service.
Eglé believes these new services will make the resort more in tune with the demands of travelers who are seeking new experiences or collecting special memories. He added this would also give the resort an edge in the midst of the industry competition and traffic congestion in the province.
Experiential travel is a form of tourism in which people focus on experiencing a country, city or place by connecting with its history, people, and culture.
This way of exploring the world, according to Myra Abelido-Regner, the resort’s director of sales and marketing, demands authenticity and uniqueness whether in dining, accommodation, travel or places to see.