Owners change resort’s brand to attract wider Asian market

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

THE developers of a five-star resort in Mactan announced the rebranding of their property “to facilitate growth” for the company.

Beginning June, the Imperial Palace Waterpark Resort and Spa will be known as JPark Island Resort Cebu.

Officials of Philippine BXT Corp., operators of the hotel, explained that change was due to expansion plans that the company hopes to pursue that the Imperial chain is not offering.


Senior sales and marketing manager Angela Emphasis said that the Imperial Palace brand is limited to hotels. The company, she said, hopes to grow its business by developing other properties that may not include a hotel facility.

PBXT director for external affairs Reno Bacolod said these properties include hotels, resorts and amusement centers around the country and overseas.


He also announced plans of the company to go public. But he said nothing has been finalized and the company still does not have a timeline.

“We have to consider many factors like the receptiveness of the market, our growth factor and the selling price. We are doing our homework and we are not limiting ourselves to the Philippine exchange,” he told reporters yesterday. He cited the Korean and United States bourses as some of their options.

But until this is finalized, Bacolod said they will focus first on developing the JPark brand and expanding their projects.

Bacolod said the company is considering developments in Boracay, Palawan and parts of Luzon. They are also eyeing international locations but Bacolod would not give details.

He said the name JPark refers to the Filipino and Korean owners of PBXT.

He said the brand aims to be “very Asian” to attract travelers from Southeast Asia, China, the Middle East and Russia, along with their existing clients from South Korea, Japan and local tourists.


Sales and marketing director Myla Mohammad assured that they still expect a robust South Korean market even with the name change, saying they are still seeing many arrivals from South Korea. However, they also want to promote the hotel to emerging markets.

Mohammad said she is optimistic about the Chinese market as the travel ban on the Philippines has been lifted and there are at least two chartered flights from China
expected to arrive in Cebu between June and September.

Aside from leisure tourists, Mohammad is also seeing a large market in MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) from Southeast Asian countries.

Bacolod said there will be no drastic changes in the hotel and also among its staff.

But he said there are some adjustments, like the new features in the check-in and check-out process, Asian-Mediterranean fusion cuisine to meet the dietary demands of target markets, and the construction of a mini golf course and go kart track for children.

The property is also leasing an international casino within the property, which set to open in July.

Front office manager Dorinda Lim said they are shifting from the traditional way of checking in to a more contemporary set-up. To make things faster and easier, they have separated their check-in counters into three for high-profile guests, frequent individual travelers and group travelers.

Bacolod also assured that they want to be “tech savvy” in their systems.

Although they did not give details on the kind of project they are working on next, Bacolod said they will unveil their first expansion next year.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 08, 2014.


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