BHI to reposition Boracay resort

Published June 29, 2022, 3:14 PM

by James A. Loyola

Fridays Holdings, Inc. (FHI), a unit of publicly-listed Boulevard Holdings Inc. (BHI), has decided to renovate Fridays Boracay instead of immediately reopening amid the surge in arrival of domestic tourists.

“We won’t open up Fridays Boracay if BHI is just going to earn a run-of-the mill return based on cut throat room rates between P5,000 to P8,000 a night,” said BHI Chairman and President Jose Marcel Panlilio in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

He noted that, “We are throwing in a lot of capital from the recent sales proceeds to reposition our market segment to within the P12,000 to P20,000 a night clientele.” “This means we are currently tearing down all the 50 rooms to the foundation poles and spending on new fixtures, furnitures and fittings (brand new vaults, tv sets, marble features, air-conditioning, sprinklers, etc),” said Panlilio.

He added that, they will also be installing “new elevators to handle clients coming in from the mountain behind us, brand new plumbing system, new employee housing and dining facilities, new landscaping & lighting scheme and two new restaurants at the beach front.”

“In other words, BHI’s predicate of spending monies is for a resultant new high end boutique hotel product to compete in the Boracay super premium market,” Panlilio said.

From these activities, BHI expects free cash flow upwards of P9 million a month after fixed and working capital reinvestment. “We look forward to definitely opening at the end of September this year,” he said.

According to government statistics, Boracay Island earned P49 billion in the normal year 2019, when it had 914,928 domestic visitors and 827,531foreign tourists.

“It is noteworthy for 2022 the foreign component of visitors to Boracay is only expected to occur at the last quarter of the year,” said Panlilio.

Meanwhile, according to the Malay Tourism Office, a record total of 150,597 mostly domestic tourists visited the island for March 2022 alone, compared to the monthly combined foreign and domestic visitors in normal year 2019 of 145,204 for that month.

Netting out the marginal foreign visitors for 2022, March 2022 visitor arrivals of 150,597 against 2019’s domestic arrivals of 74,226 per Malay Tourism office spells out an unseasonal adjusted-growth rate of 102.9 percent.

“It is in this environment, FHI hopes to grow its resort revenues,” said Panlilio.