GenSan hotel on track for July opening

Posted on May 23, 2013

GENERAL SANTOS -- A consortium of Chinese-Filipino businessmen plans to open a P250-million, six-storey hotel in this city within the year.

Domingo Teng, a local tuna businessman, told journalists here recently that the 111-room Greenleaf Hotel GenSan is 85% complete.

“This will be the biggest business hotel in the city that will cater to businessmen and high-end tourists,” he said.

Mr. Teng said the group expects to open the hotel in July and that it would charge guests “reasonable rates.”

Local and Manila-based investors decided to put up the hotel, attracted by positive growth indicators in the city, including the increase in incoming air passenger traffic by 14% from 2011 to 2012, he said. There are daily flights to Manila from here as well as alternating routes to the cities of Cebu and Iloilo served by Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Philippine Express.

The city’s economy continues to grow as shown by the entry of big shopping malls like Robinsons and SM, and the continued local construction boom, Mr. Teng said.

Greenleaf is located just across SM City GenSan along San Miguel Street at the heart of the city.

Known as the “Tuna Capital of the Philippines,” this city hosts six of the country’s seven tuna canneries with their executives among the target clienteles of the hotel, he added.

Mr. Teng said the city’s economy is also expected to grow further due to the high migration in the locality which serves as Central Mindanao economic hub.

Also known as Soccsksargen Region, the region covers the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong. Kidapawan and Cotabato.

Avelmar Manansala, city hall’s media affairs officer, said the city has around 1,200 hotel rooms both in big hotels and in small lodging houses.

The city is not yet fully capable of hosting big conventions in terms of accommodation since existing capacity is not enough, Mr. Manansala said, adding the city government expects the number of rooms to reach 1,500 in two years.

Mr. Manansala said that Greenleaf invested at least P250 million that entitled it to enjoy local tax breaks for seven years.

Greenleaf will be the second hotel to open this year after the 66-room Microtel, which opened earlier this year. -- Romer S. Sarmiento