MARRIOTT International’s first resort in the Philippines in Mactan Island, Cebu will finally open its doors on Sept. 1, 2022, after more than two years of stalled opening due to the Covid-19 pandemic

Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort made this announcement on Monday night, Aug. 1 on its Facebook page.

“We are thrilled and warmed up to announce that we are finally opening our doors as we welcome you to Marriott International’s first resort in the Philippines on Sept. 1, 2022,” the resort said.

In an interview Tuesday, Aug. 2, AppleOne Mactan Inc., chief executive officer Ray Manigsaca said it will be the soft-opening of the resort come Sept. 1 with around 50 percent of the rooms and amenities, including the Bali-inspired swimming pool will be opened.

AppleOne Mactan Inc. is the developer of the Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort and the Residence at Sheraton Cebu.

The 250-room luxury resort will be managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts, now Marriott International Inc.

The grand opening of the resort is scheduled in December this year.

According to Manigsaca, Sheraton Cebu’s opening is well-timed as global and domestic tourism recovery gains momentum after more than two years into the pandemic.

“I’m very bullish about our recovery, tourism and the whole economy in general,” said Manigsaca.

The P4-billion, five-hectare seaside project, is the first Sheraton brand (so far) in Southeast Asia.

Cebu, a hotbed of foreign tourism, has started to see gains since travel restrictions were eased.

In fact, more Korean air carriers resumed their direct flights to Korea from Mactan-Cebu International Airport, which mirrors positive development in travel and tourism sectors.

South Korea is Cebu’s biggest tourist source market.

“The return of direct flights to Korea and other international flights is a positive signal for the recovery of the travel and aviation sector. Korea comprised our main international traffic pre-pandemic, followed by other Asean countries. We are very glad to welcome them back to Cebu and to assist the ongoing tourism buildup in the region,” said Louie Ferrer, president of GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. in a statement.

Cebu was recently named as one of the Best Islands in the World by international magazine Travel + Leisure.

Tourism stakeholders in Cebu have said they are optimistic for their recovery this year as the Philippines welcomed back fully vaccinated foreign travelers in February.

“As more air carriers resume flights direct to South Korea, it is a significant milestone for rebuilding the travel industry in the island of Cebu. We are pleased to welcome them back and we look forward to continuing our shared success.” said MCIAA general manager and chief executive officer Julius Neri Jr.