SM to invest P7B in hotels

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SM Hotel and Conventions Corp. is investing P7 billion to develop five hotels in the next five years, citing a positive outlook about the Philippine hotel industry.

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A convention center is part of the plan, SM Hotels Senior Vice President for Operations Peggy Angeles said in a media briefing at the opening of the Conrad Manila on Wednesday
Angeles noted the vision is to put up the hotels in conjunction existing developments related to SM’s businesses.

“As far as the SM Hotels portfolio expansion is concerned, we certainly would like to grow in areas where first and foremost we already have an SM, an existing SM that’s ongoing expansion and development,” she said.

Such areas include Iloilo.

“We’re also exploring other areas like San Fernando in Pampanga. This is in addition to the Clark hotel that we already have,” Angeles said.

“And it could also possibly be Cebu, where we have the SM Seaside mall which we opened just last year.

“Places like Naga perhaps . . . We will be looking into these areas as well,” she added.
On Wednesday, SM Hotels opened the 347-room Conrad Manila managed by Hilton Worldwide.

The development totaled P6.5 billion as it was to execute in terms of the construction.

It’s not your typical high-rise. It’s very expansive. It sits on a 1.2-hectare piece of land. And it’s not just hotel, we have two-levels of retail so we can’t really separate the cost of the retail and the hotel. If you look at the overall project cost, it’s for the whole thing,” Angeles noted.

The next hotel in line will be at the SM North EDSA area, near Balintawak, Angeles said.
Angeles told reporters the proliferation of travel in both domestic and international terms is driving the company’s optimistic outlook.

At the same briefing, SM Hotels President Elizabeth Sy noted the number of tourist arrivals continues to rise.

“We are pleased to work with Hilton Worldwide in bringing the esteemed Conrad brand to Manila. Amidst the robust tourism outlook, the most anticipated opening of the Conrad Manila will definitely be a game changer in the already exciting Philippine hotel scene,” Sy said.

Conrad Manila is the 15th Conrad hotel in the Asia Pacific and the 27th worldwide.

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