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New business hotel is confident Mice will drive growth in the hospitality sector

Vaseline 4 weeks ago

A NEW player in the hospitality sector is responding to the growing influx of meeting, incentive, conference and trade fair participants (Mice) who flock to the city to attend various events.

“We believe Cebu continues to be a value-for-money destination among leisure and business travelers,” said Vincent Charles Ong, president of Asian Best Venture International Hotel Inc.

His family recently entered the hospitality business by building a 99-room City Pod Hotel, a business hotel at Don Mariano Cui St., Cebu City.

The hotel opened in October 2023 and has since been attracting guests from neighboring islands attending a conference in Cebu or preparing for licensing exams. Moreover, the hotel also receives a large share of tourists and tourists from medical tourism.

According to Ong, their venture into the hotel space reflects the optimism surrounding the revival of local mouse tourism in the post-pandemic landscape.

He noted that as businesses and government agencies escalate their activities and return to face-to-face interactions, the new hotel is well positioned to respond to the increasing demand for various tourism activities, including mice.

City Pod Hotel is banking on its prime location and tailor-made services to attract Mice visitors looking for a seamless blend of productivity and comfort. The hotel is strategically located near government offices, schools, hospitals, conference facilities and tourist attractions.

“What we offer our guests is the authenticity of our product. We are in the center of it all, but guests can still enjoy the serene atmosphere amid the vibrant atmosphere of this bustling area,” he said.

Cebu is on the cusp of capturing major Mice events with the full return of in-person events following the Covid-19 pandemic. Mouse events can increase hotel occupancy rates, especially during periods that might otherwise be considered off-peak.

To fully serve this growing market, Ong says they have tailored their rooms and facilities to the distinctive needs of their guests. A notable feature they have implemented is the dual functionality of their bathrooms, allowing guests to use the toilet and shower facilities simultaneously.

“Toilet and bath use is a common concern among guests, especially those attending conferences. What we noticed is that when two guests share a room and have early conference commitments, one often has to get up earlier to avoid being late. As a new business hotel, we have prioritized addressing this issue,” Ong explains.

In addition to attracting the Mice visitors from across the country, Ong said they are also aiming to attract leisure tourists, taking advantage of the revival of global travel and tourism.

In 2023, Central Visayas welcomed 6,126,477 tourists. Of the total, 3,963,680 were domestic tourists and 2,160,708 were foreign tourists.

Asked about the company’s future expansion strategies, Ong said the family owns prime properties in the islands of Mactan and Panglao (Bohol), which they intend to develop into resort destinations, under the supervision of established hotel management companies.

“But nothing is final yet. We want to be successful in this venture first,” he said.

According to the Department of Tourism’s Mice Roadmap 2030, the Philippines aims to generate around P25 billion in revenue by 2030. The aim is to position the Philippines as a leading mouse destination in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East by that year.

The roadmap also targets an increase in the mouse industry’s Gross Value Added (GVA) to P1.4 billion; an increase in the gross value added of mice to 0.01 percent of gross domestic product; and an improvement in participant spend per meeting by up to 19 percent. / KOC