THE RAFT of cancellations by Chinese tour groups and charters has freed up large swathes of room inventory and may even result in reduced rates in Boracay, as the Philippines tourism industry continues to count the costs of Manila’s standoff with Beijing (TTG Asia e-Daily, May 14, 2012).
Several properties in Boracay have even reported cancelled roomnights up to a year in advance.
Dada Estonactoc, director of sales & marketing at the recently opened Nandana Boracay, had orginally made “healthy forecasts” for the resort's Chinese tour and FIT markets up till March 2013.
Now, Estonactoc has turned to Taiwan and South Korea to plug the shortfall in Chinese bookings. “Europe, Australia, and the US can be added to these alternative markets, (although) they are still seasonal”, she added.
“There hasn’t been a lean season in Boracay in one year,” said Hannah Yulo, director of the 150-room Paradise Garden Resort Hotel & Convention Center in Boracay. “We’re (now) focusing on the domestic market, and are diverting our (overseas) efforts to South Korea and Japan."
"But it's not easy...it takes time to develop these (alternative) markets," she added.
Meanwhile, Yulo predicted that many Boracay resorts would be slashing prices when they exhibit at the upcoming Philippine Travel Mart from August 10-12.