Posted on January 13, 2013 09:56:10 PM

A UNIT of Ayala Land, Inc. plans develop more resorts as part of a target to offer as many as 4,000 rooms in two years, a top company official said late last week.

“We have other resort developments being planned and, at some point within this year, we will disclose more details on these,” Jose Emmanuel H. Jalandoni, president of AyalaLand Hotels and Resorts Corp., said in an interview last Friday on the sidelines of a briefing at Raffles Makati when asked about the unit’s expansion plans this year.

When asked for the locations of the planned new resorts, Mr. Jalandoni replied: “They will be all over: Mindanao, Luzon, Visayas.”

“We continue to grow this business because we believe in the tourism potential of the country,” Mr. Jalandoni said.

“The government is pushing tourism, but at the same time we find there is a need for more products to be out in the market.”

Ayala Land is a property company that is involved largely in residential and commercial developments. But it has also ventured into hotels and leisure-type projects via AyalaLand Hotels and Resorts.

So far, the Ayala Land unit has developed El Nido Resorts, an island resort complex in El Nido, Palawan, consisting of the Lagen, Milinoc, Apulit and Pangulasian Island Resorts.

“We have just opened Pangulasian. We soft-opened in last quarter of 2012,” Mr. Jalandoni said.

“It’s doing quite well, and we’re very happy with the development and the guests are very happy too.”

In November last year, Ayala Land President Antonino T. Aquino told reporters that Ayala Land is keen on acquiring as much as 1,000 square meters of beach and island properties in the Visayas in the next few years in order to expand the company’s growing tourism and leisure development portfolio, but he did not cite details.

Ayala Land also plans to open more hotels this year. “After CdO (Cagayan de Oro City), we’ll open Seda Davao in February, and then after that, Holiday Inn will open this March,” Mr. Jalandoni said.

Seda, formerly Kukun, is Ayala Land’s wholly owned boutique hotel brand. After launching Seda Bonifacio Global City last month, AyalaLand Hotels and Resorts said it planned to open Seda hotels in CdO, Davao, and Laguna from the end of 2012 to next year.

The 349-room Holiday Inn and Suites Makati in Ayala Center, meanwhile, is part of Ayala Land’s ongoing five-year redevelopment of Ayala Center in a bid to transform the five-hectare district into an integrated, mixed-use complex.

Ayala Land now targets to end 2015 with as many as 4,000 rooms in order to cash in on the country’s tourism potentials.

“We’re aiming for 3,000 to 4,000 units (rooms) in the next two years.

This is for both hotels and resorts. Some of this we’re still planning, and we haven’t announced all,” Mr. Jalandoni told reporters separately last Friday.

“Our biggest challenge is access to properties and infrastructure, but it’s good that the government is very supportive in these areas,” Mr. Jalandoni added. “We’re bullish because of the economy, and the government is very helpful right now in promoting tourism…”

Ayala Land shares lost 75 centavos to P25.85 apiece on Friday last week. — F. J. G. de la Fuente