In 2013 the United States made a military and diplomatic “pivot” or rebalance toward Asia to tap into the vast and growing consumer base of the booming continent.
But years before the Obama administration made the strategic move, Swiss-based Movenpick Hotels & Resorts have made the same pivot in 2006, when it opened its first hotel in the resort town of Phuket, Thailand.
Soon enough, they were opening properties around Asia’s hottest hideaways because of the region’s unprecedented tourism growth. The mono-brand management groupmade its presence felt in the Philippines in 2011 with Movenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu, a contemporary 245-room five-star beachfront escape in Punta Engaño’s upscale resort row.
“The Philippines presents strong development potential for Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts,” says Mövenpick President and CEO Chavy, who recently visited the country along with its senior executives as part of its Grand Tour of Asia.
The tour is part of the leadership team’s two-week mission to meet colleagues, hoteliers and key partners in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia.
He noted that the Cebu property has been outperforming the actual market, which encouraged them to set foot in the world-famous resort island of Boracay.
“It is one of Asia’s fastest-growing tourism markets and offers a wide range of destination possibilities that are currently untapped by upscale hospitality brands. With two properties under our management already, we are now seeking further opportunities to grow our footprint in key locations across the country including the capital, Manila,” he added.
Chavy pointed out that the firm has been present in the region for a decade now, but it’s just recently when it started to become a more significant market for them.
With its growing interest in Asia, the company operates 10 hotels and resorts in Thailand, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Sri Lanka and Dubai.
The hotel chain has already signed 17 new projects which are set to open by 2020, toward its goal of operating at least 30 properties in Asia by the end of the decade.
The group will be opening its second property, Mövenpick Resort & Spa Boracay, a 333-room five-star resort hotel, before the end of the year in the island’s less-crowded portion.
Located at the Punta Bunga Beach, it promises to offer something for everybody, from a romantic holiday to a family trip to make it an inter-generational getaway. It boasts of seven food and beverage outlets, the Little Birds Club for children, the Mövenpick Beach Club and Chocolate Hour, to name a few of its amenities.
The resort will feature the largest swimming pool and only casino in Boracay, which will serve as additional tourist magnets. It is also walking the extra mile by making available to guests with small children the so-called family essentials for a more convenient travel.
More than being the usual luxury hotel, Chavy enthused that the Philippine properties embody a unique blend of the trademark Swissquality and precision and the natural warmth of the Filipinos, a combination which has been very successful in their undertakings abroad.
As a sign of its confidence in the Philippine market, the firm is already setting its sights to other potential sites this early in key spots in Metro Manila and Palawan, named twice by Travel + Leisuremagazine as the world’s best island.
Down the road, the firm is also looking into diversifying into another product, the Mövenpick Residences serviced apartments, to cater to the growing number of retirees and long-staying expats in the country. Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts specializes in business and conference hotels, as well as holiday resorts, all reflecting a sense of place and respect for their host communities.
Committed to supporting sustainable environments, it has become the world’s most Green Globe-certified hotel company and is looking forward to collaborating with locals on corporate social responsibility projects in the area of educational support and sustainable tourism.
“We’re very optimistic about our future here in the Philippines and we look forward to growing it,” Chavy concludes.
Bernard L. Supetran | Business Mirror | October 8, 2017