Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino in the Philippines is gaining a windfall from the booming meetings and conventions sector, due to the lack of large-scale convention centres in the destination.
Anders Hallden, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino’s general manager, shared with TTGmice on the sidelines of the recent PATA Annual Summit 2019 in Cebu City that the hotelâ€™s rooms are â€śalready fully booked for Juneâ€ť and that â€śthis year is looking extremely strong for MICEâ€ť.
â€śWe see record-breaking (performance) every year in both rooms and MICE,â€ť said Hallden, adding that the business events and F&B sectors jointly account for 50 per cent of the hotelâ€™s business, with rooms accounting for the other half.
Boasting the largest business events facilities among hotels in Cebu, no other hotel comes close to the property’s 10,000m2 of event space across 15 function rooms and two ballrooms â€“ which can hold up to 7,500 pax. There are also 561 keys, as well as 10 F&B outlets among the facilities.
Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino’s edge also comes into play, given that the city has no proper convention centre. The construction of SMX Convention Center Cebu, scheduled for an end-2017 opening, has stalled for several years now due to issues with the local government.
To improve its competitiveness and in anticipation of growing domestic and foreign arrivals to Cebu, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino â€“ part of a homegrown brand that also has hotels in Mactan in Cebu, Davao and Manila â€“ is gradually renovating its facilities, starting off with the banquet areas in January, followed by rooms.
â€śWe’ll take it step by step because I have lots of business in my books and I donâ€™t want to interrupt them,â€ť Hallden said.
Hallden attributed the booming business events sector to Cebuâ€™s new international airport terminal which opened last year and brought about more direct international flights, improvements in road, the opening of new hotels like the Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu, and very strong interest in Cebu; the city was ranked the 25th Best Destination in Asia by TripAdvisor.