Cebu tourism industry seen as vital for PH economic recovery


The tourism industry in Cebu is expected to propel the country’s post-pandemic economic growth once mobility restrictions are further eased and foreign tourists return to one of the country’s premier tourist hubs.


This projection was made by Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI) chairman and chief executive officer Jose Soberano III on Wednesday during the unveiling of the company’s first resort development – the P2.5-billion Abaca Resort Mactan.


“We have always wanted to contribute towards making Cebu a thriving economic and tourism destination,” Soberano said in a virtual press briefing. “Abaca Resort Mactan will put Cebu on the radar of this emerging breed of global travelers seeking world-class, authentic, and unique holiday experience.”


Soberano said they see tourism in the Visayas and Mindanao driving the economy moving forward once global mobility is restored, bringing back jobs in the region’s key economic driver.


“With direct flight connections all over the world, Cebu will be the natural gateway to the Philippines for many travelers seeking to enjoy the country’s world-acclaimed beaches and other attractions. We will be ready for that boom,” he added.


CLI has strengthened its hotel portfolio in the region as it reveals the expanded luxury boutique hotel which is set to be completed in 2024.


Jason Hyatt, founder and executive chef of The Abaca Group, said the Cebu-based restaurant operator is optimistic about their partnership with CLI.


“As one of the country’s preeminent developers, we are honored that CLI has chosen to partner with us once again through their hospitality arm. Being added to their portfolio of established global brands like Accor, Radisson, and Ascott is so inspiring,” he said.


With the opening of the resort in 2024, CLI targets expanding its hotel portfolio to 1,433 rooms by 2025. This is in line with CLI’s strategy to build up its recurring business contributing 10 percent to the company’s topline.


The 125-room all-suite accommodation featuring exclusively panoramic ocean views is envisioned to fill the gap for luxury resorts catering to global travelers in Cebu’s thriving tourism scene in preparation for international mobility.


It will rise 17 storeys high on a 4,500-square meter property formerly occupied by the multi-awarded Abaca Boutique Resort in Punta Engano, Lapu-Lapu City, a tourism growth center and is home to Cebu’s posh resorts.


CLI purchased the property in 2019 and has signed up with The Abaca Group to continue operating the hotel and providing luxury experiences tailored for local and global tourists.


To design the resort and infuse it with a unique sense of place sought by an emerging breed of high-end travelers, CLI tapped internationally renowned architectural firm Büro Ole Scheeren whose projects won numerous awards globally.

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