The Philippines’ hotel industry foresees strong recovery in 2022

Travel boom and high spending tendencies are positive signs for hospitality players 

The occupancy of hotels has improved after the relaxation of guidelines for interzonal travel and Metro Manila’s shift from Alert Level three to two. Tooykrub/Shutterstock

According to Philippine News Agency, the Philippines’ hotel industry sees a positive outlook for 2022 as Filipinos gain more confidence in traveling. 

Ma. Luisa Angeles, Philippine Hotel Owners Association, Inc. (PHOA) board of director and vice president for SM Hotels and Conventions Corporation, said, “Even if we continue to stay at alert level two, 2022 should really be a good recovery year, not quite the pre-pandemic days but definitely much, much better than 2021.” 

However, PHOA President Arthur Lopez says that recovery to pre-pandemic levels will still take around three to four years or at least until air traffic is back like it was in 2019. 

He said, “If the airlines will not fly, there would be no recovery, and (there was a time) that IATA already said 2024 is only the start or the beginning. In other words, it has to peak for maybe one or two years.” 

“There will be a boom in travel because everybody wants to travel and those who want to travel have a lot of money they can spend, but I think we have to be realistic, so I told our hotels at that time that for their business plans, 2024 should only (written) as the start of recovery not recovered yet,” he added. 

Hotels should refocus their marketing plans owing to the current situation, agreed PHOA Vice President for Internal Affairs AI Legaspi. 

“Business travel may not pick up that fast but eventually it will because companies and corporations overseas will eventually have to come here,” Legaspi said. 

“Hotels just have to redirect their marketing efforts and capture leisure as well as the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions). The mice market is also a very strong potential market for us,” he added. 

The occupancy of hotels has improved after the relaxation of guidelines for interzonal travel and Metro Manila’s shift from Alert Level three to two. 

In terms of revenue, 2020 still performed better than this year, as inbound tourists were still able to enter the country from January until March. However, borders were completely closed throughout 2021. 

Recent data from the Department of Tourism indicated that foreign visitor spending from January to August 2021 recorded at more than PHP4.41 billion, much lower than the same period in 2020 at PHP79.8 billion. 

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With the unprecedented surge of Omicron variant, PHOA Executive Director and former Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon, Jr. said PHOA will remain committed to ensuring the “safe and convenient” stay of its guests. 

He said, “We can say that we are more prepared than maybe most other businesses,” adding that the organisation had formed a technical working group that will submit recommendations on ways to make the hotel rating system globally competitive.

The Property Report editors wrote this article. For more information, email: [email protected].