Plans are being firmed up by listed property developer Century Properties Group Inc. for its foray into the hotel business as part of its expansion program in the coming years.

The plan is in line with the government’s goal of strengthening the tourism industry.

“We are also looking at plans to expand in the tourism industry,” Jose E.B. Antonio, Century Properties president and chief executive officer, told analysts and reporters in a briefing Friday. “We are going to hotels, both our brand and in partnership with other brands,” he said.

The company will focus on developing three to five star hotels, and forge management partnerships with experienced hoteliers, the property executive noted.

“There are ongoing talks with parties, with the deals likely to be consummated within the year and announced by next year,” Antonio said, adding that one of the first two hotels will likely be in Manila, and the other “out of town.”

Such projects are timely given the government’s inroads toward improving the country’s tourism sector, Antonio noted.

“Tourism is able to give jobs to more Filipinos, especially those who do not have degrees for the outsourcing sector. We are prioritizing that,” Antonio said.

Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez earlier cited the need for real еstatе developers to help address the country’s hotel room backlog.

The government targets 10 million international tourists by 2016. It has already exceeded its goal of 35.5 million local tourists last year.

A new target of 44 million domestic travelers was approved by President Benigno S. Aquino III as part of efforts to increase the share of tourism to employment and gross domestic product

Source: GMA News | April 5, 2013