BANKING on the successes of its Bohol and Cebu properties, BE Group’s hospitality business is extending its reach beyond Central Visayas.
This expansion involves the development of a hotel resort on its newly acquired property in Siargao Islands, marking its first foray in Mindanao.
According to Grand Benedicto, president of Enrison Land Inc., the Siargao project will have close to 100 rooms, the biggest so far in terms of accommodation on the island. The hotel resort, which will break ground in the first quarter of this year, is slated for completion in 2026.
Enricon Land Inc. is the real estate arm of the Be Group of Companies. It is the operator of BE Mactan Resort and BE Grand Resort-Bohol.
Siargao was part of the top 10 islands in Asia in Conde Nast Traveler’s (CNT) Readers’ Choice Awards for 2023. Siargao landed the 10th spot with 87.73 points, while Boracay placed third with 90.74 points and Palawan in the sixth spot with 89.71 points.
According to CNT, some 600,000 readers who registered to vote took part in the survey conducted online, making the Readers’ Choice Awards sought-after by the travel industry and often seen to forecast travel trends. A report said tourist arrivals in Siargao Island, particularly General Luna, have increased to almost 1,000 daily post-pandemic.
Besides Siargao, the group will also be expanding its BE Grand Resort-Bohol.
Benedicto, who is also BE Group’s president, said some 200 new rooms will be added to their sprawling property in Barangay Danao, Panglao, Bohol. The expansion will be completed in three years.
BE Grand initially started with some 208 rooms comprised of 189 hotel guestrooms and suites, and 19 luxury villas when it opened in 2015. It is positioned as a five-star resort in a sprawling five-hectare property.
According to Benedicto, the company’s expansion plans mirror its confidence and optimism in the full recovery of the country’s tourism sector after the Covid-19 pandemic and the onslaught of Typhoon Odette.
It relies on the expanding network of Bohol Panglao International Airport to provide a much-needed tourism boost to the island province.
Bohol now has a direct connection to South Korea through Jeju Air and Air Busan. The airport also serves domestic flights to destinations like Manila and Davao.
“Bohol is now the ‘it’ place to be in the Philippines,” said Benedicto.
“We’ve been talking with international groups... and it seems since last year, the shift from Cebu to Bohol has been so strong that it’s not just BE Grand that’s enjoying high occupancy. The thing now with Bohol is there’s a lack of rooms,” said Nova Noval, BE Group’s chief operating officer.
Citing information from the Bohol Tourism Office, a report revealed that foreign tourists numbered 227,532, comprising approximately 32 percent of the total visitor arrivals, which reached 715,670 from January to Nov. 21 in 2023.