Microtel plans 12 new hotels in next 5 yrs

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Microtel Inns and Suites (Pilipinas) Inc., the hospitality arm of Phinma Corporation, has set a goal to have a total of 25 hotels in the next five years, driven by its optimism for the new administration, a top ranking official of the company said.

In an interview, Microtel Philippines president and chief executive officer Jose Mari del Rosario told The Manila Times that the firm hopes to have 25 Microtel by Wyndham hotels in the next five years, a target which was initially expected to be achieved by the end of this year.

“In another five years, I think we can comfortably say that. There is a good program being carried out by this present government, so we are encouraged by that,” del Rosario said.

In 2014, Microtel said it planned to expand its portfolio of 13 Microtel hotels to 25 by 2016.
At present, the firm still has a total of 13 Microtels across the country.

Del Rosario admitted that the firm has not achieved its target number of hotels, as it is “cautious” about putting up hotels due to the number of players who have entered their market segment.

“We have chosen to become cautious and selective with our locations and partners because we feel that one, we owe it to our stakeholders to have a viable business,” del Rosario said. “Two, I must admit there’s a lot of competition that’s coming up. And a lot of them, even the big boys, have seen our market segment and so you have SM coming in with Park Inn, You have Robinsons coming in with Go Hotels, Ayala with their Seda. So we want to be cautious also.”

Microtel is a 3-star hotel, which targets Filipino business travelers, according to del Rosario. He added that it caters to a mix of foreign and domestic clients.

“In some locations, it’s 70 percent domestic, 30 percent foreign, and in some locations it’s the reverse,” del Rosario said.

In order to address the competition entering the hotel market, del Rosario said the firm is focusing on skills training for the management of its hotels.

Recently, the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) recognized 14 Microtel by Wyndham Philippines hotel managers and corporate officers as Certified Hotel Administrators (CHA).

At present, there are only 16 CHA-certified individuals from the Philippines.

“We put a lot of focus on the competence of our management, not only the higher management, but in all levels. We want them to be able to deliver a high level of experience so we believe that that is our unique selling point, that we are able to distinguish ourselves from people or developers that are just looking at the bottom line all the time,” del Rosario expressed.

The CEO also expressed his optimism for the new administration.

“I think their continuing the previous thrust of the last tourism secretary is good. It was a successful campaign. If they continue that, it’s already a plus,” del Rosario said.

As for the future Microtel locations, del Rosario noted that the firm is looking at locations such as Coron and El Nido in Palawan, Clark, Tuguegarao, and Isabela.

“There’s a lot of these emerging cities, where we think Microtel can do well. Bacolod for example, and Iloilo are also good targets, and if everything goes well, more cities in Mindanao,” del Rosario said.

An average Microtel hotel will have a minimum of 60 rooms, according to del Rosario. However, he did not disclose the specific budget for building more hotels in the next five years.

“No fixed target, but our cost to build a room ranges from P2 million to P2.5 million per room,” del Rosario said.

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