Filinvest’s Grafik Resort Mactan Cebu targets underserved millennial market
The Gotianun-led Filinvest group is poised to strengthen its foothold on the domestic hospitality market as it opens a new resort and completes the expansion of its existing property in Lapu-Lapu City come 2020.
Banking on Cebu’s burgeoning economy and its untapped tourism potential, Filinvest Hospitality Corp. (FHC), a subsidiary of Filinvest Development Corp. (FDC), recently launched Grafik Resort Mactan Cebu, its second property on Mactan Island and third in Cebu province.
“This is a testament to our belief in the strong Cebu economy and the strong tourist potential that needs to be reached,” FHC vice president Francis Gotianun said last Saturday during the groundbreaking ceremony for the property fronting the Duawon Beach in Marigondon, Lapu-Lapu City.
FHC has earmarked around P1.5 billion to develop the 2.8-hectare property and expects to provide over 400 jobs to the local community upon the start of operations three years from now. Construction will begin in the later part of this year.
“We want to contribute to the continued development of tourism in Lapu-Lapu and help make it the main destination for foreign and local tourists,” Gotianun said.
The same group is behind the five-star Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan as well as the three-star Quest Hotel and Conference Center in Cebu City.
Gotianun said Grafik Mactan is a lifestyle resort targeted at the young and young-at-heart who are looking for a place that is more casual and fun.
He said that FHC felt like there was a gap in the market and that the “millennial” segment was underserved.
While the property doesn’t have big white-sand beach, it does have beautiful saltwater lagoons where people can feel safe when they swim in them.
Gotianun shared that the location holds a special place in his heart because it used to be where his family would go on small beach vacations when they visited Cebu.
The developer will construct a medium-rise building that will feature 308 rooms, two signature restaurants, three bars, and multiple pools.
James Montenegro, country manager of FDC’s hotel management arm Chroma Hospitality, a joint venture with Archipelago International of Singapore, said that they intend to do something with Grafik that other hotels are not doing.
“While none of them is final yet, but all our hotel rooms will not have a mini bar. We will have TV, but no cable. People have to bring their own content. We want them to go out of their rooms and experience the atmosphere of the resort,” he said.
Aside from this, Grafik plans to put up its own internal radio station to bring music, brand, and experience together.
Montenegro said they will also introduce a new dining concept in which a modern turo-turo cafeteria will replace the usual coffee shop set-up.
“It’s playing with different things and giving all our customers a very different experience,” he said.
He said the domestic market has grown exponentially in the last three years with Filipinos having more buying power.
“One of our goals is to position our hotels into the domestic market. The other hotel, Grafik, is actually mid-level. The target average rate is P5,000 to P6,000 (per night) and that is not geared toward the high-end market,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Montenegro also shared the group’s expansion plans for Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan which is targeted at the growing domestic market.
The group has earmarked P2.5 billion to P3 billion to build a two-tower expansion near the entrance of the Crimson property, featuring 246 suites measuring 50 square meters each.
This will bring the resort’s total room inventory to 536 once they finish the construction of the extension and open it to the public by 2020.
After the expansion, Montenegro said they are set to renovate the existing property to add a ballroom that could fit 800 to 1,500 people, another coffee shop, a 4000-sq.m. swimming pool, new gym, restaurant, and executive lounge, among others.
“We felt like nobody is catering to the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibits) business in Cebu. Given the expansion of the airport and the number of arrivals, we thought the market was incomplete,” he added.
With a new ballroom, he said Crimson can accommodate up to 2,000 people at a time, which is more than the capacity of most resorts in Mactan and even hotels in the city.
While majority of the resort’s market are leisure travelers, they are trying to balance out the MICE segment with the upcoming renovation.
FHC’s Grafik Resort was one of two new resorts in Mactan launched this year, the other one being Seagrove, a joint venture project between Ayala Land, Cebu Holdings, Inc. (CHI), and the Gaisano-led Taft Properties.