Putting up new hotels will help boost the Philippines' tourism and hospitality industries, which are 'slowly recovering' from the restrictions due to the COVID pandemic, according to Philippine Hotel Owners Association (PHOA) president Arthur Lopez.

The group floated the idea as its goal in organizing the first Philippine Tourism and Hotel Investment Summit held at the New World Makati Hotel last June 21, Lopez said.

The PHOA is composed of 217 hotels across the Philippines.

The group has an inventory of an estimated 40,000 rooms and 'continues to expand,' Lopez said, noting that the Philippines should have '80,000 rooms to compete with the regional hotels in Asia.'

He asserted that new hotel investments in the Philippines 'will make us more competitive in the region.'

More new hotels would also enable 'adjustments to changing preferences of consumers as we see a steady shift towards demand for sustainable tourism, wider use of smart technology and more personalized itineraries,' Lopez said.

New hotel projects would 'allow us to offer more eco-friendly products and services that will increase energy savings and support industry-wide sustainable development,' according to Lopez.

PHOA executive director Benito Bengzon Jr. said the group will develop 50 to 55 hotel projects from 2024 to 2028, adding another 15,000 rooms to the inventory.

He also said the Philippines maintains the advantage of being able to offer 'a wide range, probably a longer list of destinations to visitors.'

To entice investors, Bengzon said 'there has to be a stronger market demand, or we need to have more visitors.'

According to the Philippine Hotel Investment Survey 2024 Report by PHOA and Leechiu Property Consultants, Bohol's Panglao Island 'has garnered significant interest among hotel developers, with 41 percent of respondents exploring hotel development on the island.'

Following Bohol in preferred destinations for hotel investment were Metro Manila, Cebu City, Siargao, El Nido, Mactan in Cebu, Coron, Boracay and Davao, according to the survey.

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