Cebu City, Cebu – A top official of the Philippine Allied Chamber of Real Estate and Licensed Salesmen (PhilAcre) asked owners of unused condominiums to convert their condominiums into serviced apartments or condotels (condo-hotels), which are more in demand in Cebu.
“With the increasing number of tourists coming to Cebu, the need for more condotel facilities is important as Cebu is now one of the most favorite destinations for local and international MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibit) events,” said PhilAcre President Anthony Leuterio.
He said despite the big number of hotels and pension homes in Metro Cebu, there is still a lack of accommodation facilities, especially those that cater to expats and long-staying visitors.
At present, there are at least 2,000 condominium units in Cebu that can be easily converted into condotels or serviced-apartments. Some of these units are ideally located along the beach, he added.
He said the growing market for serviced apartments or condotels has pushed existing condominium owners and developers to convert their units from purely residential to commercial.
Leuterio, who owns a real estate brokerage firm and online property rental portal rent.ph., said that there are still few developers venturing into condotels.
He noted that big international hotel chains like Dusit International, Sheraton, are now starting to forge partnerships with condo developers in Cebu for possible management of condotels.
Hoteliers have been reporting sustained high occupancy rates since 2014 and the first few months of the year with some no longer capable of catering to the surge in visitors, especially during the peak season. Thus, Leuterio said condotels are the alternative accommodation facilities to host the increasing number of business, leisure and most especially the long staying vacationers.
Along with this thrust, Leuterio together with Ryan Go president of Grandland Inc. and Tina Pestano, vice president for sales of Grandland Inc., will be embarking on a road show in the United States this week to promote Cebu as a premier “vacation destination” in Asia.
Leuterio said this will start a massive promotion of Cebu as an alternative tropical vacation destination.
“First, we have to show them what we’ve got,” said Leuterio.
He said aside from asking tourists from the US and Europe to make the Philippines their vacation destination to escape the cold weather, his group is also giving the visitors an option to own properties in Cebu via owning condotels, even for purely residential purposes.
There are now a little over 6,000 hotel rooms available in Metro Cebu, excluding accommodations offered in resorts in Mactan Island and other towns within the province.