MANILA – Property giant Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) and joint venture partner Sicogon Island Development Corp. (SIDECO) target to open this summer the airport runway, jetty port and resort accommodation of a tourism estate in northern Iloilo, optimistic about the sustained growth of the tourism sector.
Junie Jalandoni, ALI Senior Vice President and head of Commercial Business Group, said the first phase of the Sicogon Island Tourism Estate development includes the completion of infrastructure and bed and breakfast accommodation.
“The first phase is essentially completing the infrastructure — the jetty, the runway and hopefully that will be operational by summer. We are opening 20 rooms (accommodation) in Sicogon by summer so it can be already available for guests,” he said in an interview.
Jalandoni said the cost to build the 20-room resort accommodation reached PHP100 million, as they target to construct additional 80 rooms within the year.
The tourism estate project also includes retail and other resorts.
“We are planning a Seda Sicogon which will be 250 rooms. We are planning a retail area, we are also inviting other locators like hostels, bed and breakfast, a three-star hotel,” said Jalandoni.
“The country is actually in very good situation right now, attracting a lot of tourism activities. Very exciting,” he added.
Apart from becoming a premier tourist destination and a tourism hub for the region, the 1,100-hectare Sicogon Island in Carles, Iloilo is envisioned to provide inclusive growth and economic development through long-term recovery and livelihood programs and job creation.
ALI earlier estimated that the Sicogon Island development will provide 20,000 jobs either directly or indirectly with increased tourism, and about PHP1 billion in earnings for the community through business opportunities that will come from the retail and commercial establishments.