Travellers sets 2016 opening of Resorts World Bayshore

Resorts World Manila is the first casino and entertainment complex of Travellers means BUSINESS

MANILA, Philippines - Travellers International Hotel Group Inc. will commence operations of its second integrated casino and entertainment complex at the Entertainment City complex along Roxas Boulevard by 2016.

The joint venture between Alliance Global Group Inc. and Genting Hong Kong Ltd. will spend $1.1 billion to put up Resorts World Bayshore, Tina Garcia, Travellers head for investor relations, said on the sidelines of the 45th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank Board of Governors.

Site development will start this year and funds to bankroll the project will be sourced from internally generated cash.

At 30 hectares, Resorts World Bayshore will be three times the size of its counterpart in Newport City located across Terminal 3 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City. Given its size, the Bayshore facility will house at least 3,500 hotel rooms compared with 1,200 rooms in Resorts World Manila.

As the hotel and casino ventures of three other government licensees in the 120-hectare reclaimed Manila Bay area come on stream beginning next year, Travellers is unfazed by new competitors.

"We welcome the competition. You can't say the Philippines is a gaming destination if it's only Resorts World Manila. You need to have a lot of operators,” Garcia said.

Solaire Manila of Razon-led Bloomberry Resorts Corp. and Belle Grande Manila Bay of Sy-led Belle Corp. will begin operations next year. Universal Entertainment Corp. is slated to open its project in 2014.

A project of state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), the Entertainment City could generate $10 billion by 2016 when all four casinos become operational.

For the year, Travellers is targeting a "meaningful double-digit growth" in profit on the back of a projected increase in daily foot traffic in Resorts World Manila.

Last year, Travellers reported a net income of P4.8 billion, a 50 percent growth from P3.2 billion in 2010.

Daily visitors at Resorts World Manila are pegged between 18,000 and 20,000, but this can rise to as many as 25,000 this year with the opening of its budget hotel.

The company is marketing heavily in China in a bid to capture second- and third-tier players from the nation as rising income in the world's second biggest economy will “translate to more travel for these people,” said Garcia.

Travellers intends to grow the revenue share of its high roller market, which shells out a minimum bet of HK$2,000. The company's revenues are evenly split between the mass market and the high rollers.

"You want to target more players from the regions so they can be high rollers in the Philippines. The goal is to grow it but [the revenue mix] will be always skewed to mass market because you want to have that base," said Garcia.