New Portofino resort highlights Philippines’ investment potential

A new boutique hotel in the Philippines is highlighting the destination’s appeal to investors around the world.

The Portofino Ocean’s Edge Resort is a stunning villa resort with 10 cliff villas, 26 studio villas and six two-bedroom villas, along with its own private resort beach, cove, cliff edge clubhouse, restaurant, bar, infinity pool, spa, wellness centre, dive shop and jetty. There’s even a helipad for guests wanting to arrive in style.

The five-star development is on the island of Carabao and is set to open later this year.

It launches just as the Philippines enjoys record-breaking levels of tourism: international arrivals topped the 500,000 mark for the first time in January 2016. The investment outlook is also bright: HSBC has projected that the Philippines will be the 16th largest economy in the world by 2050, as the country moves from agriculture to a future dominated by the services sector.

The Philippines is currently the fastest-growing country in East Asia, with more than 100 million citizens spread across its 7,000 islands, as well as some eight million or so working and living indefinitely overseas.

The country’s recent economic success and stability resulted in Standard & Poors reaffirming the Philippines as BBB Stable in April 2015 – its highest ever credit rating and one that the Filipino government is working hard to maintain. The country is committed to remaining one of Asia’s most attractive investment destinations, with a programme of infrastructure improvements underway as part of that commitment.

Yet despite this significant economic progress, there remains a lack of high end hotel accommodation to service the government’s target of 6 million tourists in 2016.

“There’s a big shortage of hotel rooms in this country and an even bigger shortage of branded rooms with a consistent quality,” explains Kevin Wallace of Plateno Group, which is behind the luxury Portofino development.

As a result, the hotel sector is ripe for investors.

Ray Withers, CEO of specialist property investment company Property Frontiers, comments: “Portofino Ocean’s Edge Resort is the ideal investment for those looking to be a part of the Philippines’ resounding economic success story and the growth of its tourism sector.”

Investment in the resort starts from US $109,000 for a studio villa. Cliff villas are available for US $120,000 and two bedroom villas for US $272,000. 10 per cent interest is paid during construction and investors benefit from 10 per cent underwritten (minimum) NET return.

Portofino Ocean’s Edge Resort also has a clear exit strategy, with optional developer buyback at 120 per cent, offering 70 per cent minimum return on investment across five years.

“The opportunity offers all the advantages of a hotel investment and even includes 14 days’ personal usage per year,” adds Withers, “with no restrictions around when it can be used.”

Completion of the resort is scheduled for September, but only half of the rooms have been released for private investment, so they are expected to be snapped up before then.

Overseas interest is certainly there: in April 2016, the Philippines was in the Top 15 most popular destinations on for the fifth month in a row, according to the portal’s most recent Top of the Props report.

The Philippines is well used to money flowing in from overseas. Remittances from overseas Filipino workers account for around 13.5 per cent of GDP. This was a significant factor in the country’s investment status upgrade and gives the Philippines stability for the future, with money flowing in from different sources.

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