By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT
ZEN Rooms, the leading budget and mid-range hotel franchise in the region, is moving its headquarters to the Philippines drawn by the country’s rosy economic and tourism prospects aside from being a natural hub for the hospitality industry.
“We are placing the heart of our company in one of the most hospitable nations in the world. By having our headquarters in the Philippines, we believe we can build the strongest hospitality team in the region,” said ZEN Rooms co-founder Nathan Boublil. ZEN recognizes the country’s growing economy and potential for innovation.
Boublil noted that even in a time of global uncertainties, the Philippine economy remains bullish with GDP growth of 6.2 percent in the 3rd quarter of 2019.
An Oxford Economics study showed the Philippines will be the top driver, after India, of global economic growth over the next decade, beating China. At the same time, the country’s accommodation market is still plagued with inefficiencies, such as high prices, low safety and poor maintenance.
Deeper presence of ZEN is a promise to further disrupt the market and solve the issues bit by bit.
“We want to transform the Philippines accommodation market with our technological and operational solutions to improve its safety and value-for-money. By using this market as a base to trial market-leading technologies, we can successfully scale them across the region,” said Boublil.
ZEN’s shift to the Philippines will offer a boost to the local economy and its people, he said. With a median age of 23, the country has a large and growing young population with high literacy levels, making it one of Asia’s premier Labor markets. ZEN has already created 400 jobs and is creating more each month.
Initiatives launched by ZEN, such as its Internal Hospitality School, provide new career opportunities to its participants and graduates.
“There are many who started with us as junior housekeepers and today they manage full properties,” Boublil said. “We are grateful to see how talents thrive when given an opportunity and support. We reward people for taking ownership and nurture their entrepreneurial spirit.”
“We see so much potential in the country’s young generation as their creativity and optimism is what makes them stand out and it is absolutely admirable. For that reason we launched Founders Philippines in September last year, to provide a platform for like-minded people to meet, learn how to build their own business and find solutions to the problems they face on that journey.”