By Vincent Mariel P. Galang

The Legend Palawan Hotel
The Legend Palawan hotel targets higher occupancy this year.

CELEBRATING its 20th anniversary, Legend Hotel International Corp.’s (LHIC) Puerto Princesa hotel is targeting to take advantage of the booming tourism industry in Palawan.

The Legend Palawan (TLP), owned by Wyden King’s LHIC, is offering a new tour package that it expects to attract more tourists.

Puerto Princesa City has seen a 20% increase in tourism arrivals to 1.165 million in 2018, according to the City Tourism Office (CTO).

Minerva S. Sembria, general manager of The Legend Palawan said 60% of the hotel’s guests are local travelers, while foreigners account for the rest.

She said the hotel saw 42% occupancy rate in 2018, and hopes to increase this to 60% with the addition of the new tour package called Roam.

“We’re expecting 60% occupancy rate with the new products,” she told reporters last week.

The Roam tour packages include room accommodations, island tours and transportation services.

“We’re expecting that to be in traction as we market our new products. They had the perception that the hotel was old that’s why last year we focused on renovating our rooms. This year we are also looking at renovating the facade and also the common areas. We started with the rooms because we felt that would give the convenience immediately to the guests,” Celine Marie L. King, chief operating officer of LHIC, said.

Seeing the need for change, the company decided to renovate TLP’s 91 rooms last year. The new rooms designed by Wilfrid Magcase were unveiled earlier this year. The other areas, including the hotel facade, is up for renovation next year.

With the positive outlook on Puerto Princesa, hotel officials also hope to expand its services to cater to the guests’ demands.

“If the market demand is going to increase, we have another building just beside us that we can add just 20-30 more rooms. We will see this year if that will pan through but we’re hopeful and we are encouraged that the tourism in Puerto Princesa will keep going up,” Ms. King noted.

The management is also looking into offering outdoor recreation activities for guests, and putting up floating or treetop villas.

“The idea is to get all of those running in the next three years because our focus right now is to complete our amenities for our beach experience… but the goal is we want to do it in comfort,” Ms. King said.

“That’s the direction and hopefully in a few years’ time we will be able to get all of that,” she added.