DEVELOPMENT of hospitality and tourism-oriented projects in Northern Luzon may be slower than in other parts of the country because developers are waiting for major infrastructure projects to be completed, an executive from real estate analysts Jones Lang Lasalle Philippines said.
In a recent interview JLL country manager Lindsay Orr told The Manila Times that there is no clear reason for the current concentration in the Visayas and Mindanao of hospitality and tourism-oriented projects by major property developers, other than accessibility issues due to a shortage of infrastructure.
Orr noted the branded hotel trend that is spreading outside of Metro Manila, but that developments in the pipeline seem to be concentrated in the Visayas and Mindanao region.
Some of the upcoming hotel developments mentioned by Orr are Boracay Savoy, Boracay Belmont, Richmonde Iloilo, and Courtyard by Mariott, all by Megaworld Corporation; Seda Lio El Nido, Seda Atria Iloilo, and Sicogon Island and Tourism Estate all by Ayala Land Inc.; Dusit Princess Hotel and Dusit Thani Davao by Dusit International; and Sheraton Mactan by Sheraton hotels.
Orr noted that despite the imbalance, some development is taking place in the Clark, Subic, and Central Luzon area.
An example of this is the upcoming Hilton Clark Sunvalley Resort by the Hilton Hotels and Resorts group, which is set to open in 2017.
“I think for sure there is an intention [for the development of the North], I don’t think the North is being neglected. I think you’ll see a lot of development particularly in the Clark area as Clark Green City evolves and will probably be leading from that coastline. Zambales will also develop. And La Union and Ilocos,” Orr said.
Orr emphasized that developers could be awaiting the completion of infrastructure projects in the area such as the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX).
“I think that what you’ll find for the Northern part of Luzon, once the SCTEX expressway is completed as far as Rosario in La Union, then there will be a surge in developments in the La Union and Ilocos area,” Orr said.” I think for the time being, they are waiting for that SCTEX to be completed which I believe will be done in a year or so.”
The country manager suggested that developers are waiting for the completion of these infrastructure projects, as accessibility remains to be a priority in putting up a development.
“Accessibility is probably the most important thing isn’t it,” Orr emphasized.
Prime Philippines Managing Director Jet Yu echoed Orr’s sentiments. “As of now, we see a lot of inquiriries for Pampanga specifically. Pampanga and parts of Tarlac,” the managing director of the local real estate consultancy firm said.
Yu also attributed the lack of developments in the Northern part of Luzon to the focus of developers on more populated areas in order to ensure demand for their projects.
“I think it has something to do, with again number one, developers would prefer to develop in areas where there are already substantial numbers of people. Kasi if there is no population, no one would really stay in that area,” Yu told The Manila Times.
In contrast, Evelyn Singson, Vice-Chairman and President of Philippine Hoteliers, Inc., the owner of Dusit Thani Makati, said there was a demand in the Northern part of Luzon for a hotel development, driven by the increasing number of domestic travelers in the country.
“We see an increasing demand from the next generation of travelers looking for exciting and unique holiday experience,” Singson said in a statement.
Dusit International recently announced that it is partnering with local developer RCL Realty and Consulting Services, Inc. and Brightbeam Corporation to manage a condotel development in a 7-hectare resort residences project in San Juan, La Union.