DUSIT International remains bullish in expanding their presence in the country, saying the Philippines is a “beautiful country with wealth in tourism.”

The Bangkok-based resort and hotel company is opening two hotel brands in Manila, one in Cebu and two in Davao City.

“We are very confident of the growth of Philippine tourism. It is for this reason that we are extending our hotel brands to various markets in the country,” said Thierry Douin, vice president for operations of Dusit International.

Dusit International carries the Dusit Thani, Dusit Princess, Dusit Devarana and dusitD2 hotel brands.

Upcoming projects in the Philippines include Dusit Princess NAIA Gardens, Manila, a hotel school, and dusitD2 in Bonifacio Global City (BGC); Dusit Princess in Cebu; and Dusit Thani Residence and dusitD2 in Davao City.

Dusit International has had a long presence in Manila through Dusit Thani in Makati City for over 20 years. Although it took them quite a long time to expand presence here, Douin said the expansion plans came at the right time.

“I don’t think we came late because it was only in the past few years that the Philippines’ economic growth has caught the attention of the world,” he said. “We will continue to see new brands coming in the midst of the country’s growth momentum.”

Ryan Chen, director of development for Asia Pacific at Dusit International, said they are growing outside Manila because of the tourism potential in other destinations in the Philippines such as Cebu and Davao.

According to Chen, the Philippine market plays a vital role in the company’s growth story because the Thai-led company sees similarities with Filipinos in terms of values and the quality of work. More importantly, the company admires the Filipinos’ unique hospitality trait and fluency in the English language.

“We are in the people-industry business and we are fortunate to work with Filipinos,” said Douin, hoping the hotel school in BGC will help them produce right and skilled people for their growing hotel operations in the country.

“We really are poised for a positive future in the Philippines,” added Chen, although he noted a huge need for support infrastructure like road networks, sustainable power and water supply and airport expansion, among others.

Douin, however, sees the regional integration as both an opportunity and a threat to the hospitality business because it would result in free flow of workers within Asean.

“It opens opportunities for everyone to work anywhere and Filipinos have the edge because all tourism destinations within Asean would need workers with good English command. Filipinos are excellent in the aspect, however, keeping the best workers would be another story. It’s a big challenge,” he said.

Last week, Grand Land Inc. and Dusit International launched the 295-room Dusit Princess.

Officials said they are eyeing more Dusit hotel brands to operate Cebu in the future. Chen said they remain open to potential developers for the next hotel projects.