Lucio Co aims to open more Acacia Hotels

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ACACIA Hotel Davao opened on Nov. 22.

DAVAO CITY — Tycoon Lucio L. Co plans to have more Acacia Hotels nationwide after opening the third branch here last week, as his company seeks to take advantage of growing tourism to the Philippines.

“I am not a hotelier, isa po akong sari-sari store owner (I am a retail store owner)… but I know when I get the best service and accommodation in a hotel,” Mr. Co said in his speech during the Acacia Hotel Davao opening on Nov. 22.

Mr. Co, through Cosco Capital, Inc., owns the chain of Puregold Price Club supermarkets and S&R Membership Shopping.

The Acacia Hotel under his holding company’s real estate arm, CHMI Land, Inc., has three branches, with the two others in Alabang and Bacolod.

Mr. Co said he considers the Acacia brand “not quite” a hotel chain yet, and he wants to expand it similar to the Puregold and S&R footprints.

“Our tourism industry in the Philippines has been flourishing in the last few years, with Davao as one of the best destination… We are confident that this lays the foundation for us to grow Acacia Hotel across the rest of our 7,107 islands,” he said.

The Department of Tourism reported earlier this month that visitor arrivals from January-September this year reached 6.16 million, up 14.4% from 5.39 million in the same period 2018.

Mr. Co — whose business interests also include real estate, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and liquor and wine distribution — also vowed to explore more investment opportunities in the city, where there is already one branch each of Puregold and S&R.

“Our experience in doing business in Davao City has been delightful… We are also encouraged by the enthusiasm and can-do spirit that our colleagues at Acacia Hotel has extended in getting this property opened in time,” he said, noting that the hotel’s human resource is “99%” locals.

“Mr. President makakaasa po kayo na (you can count on us that) we will continue to build and invest in Davao and our country,” Mr. Co said, addressing President Rodrigo R. Duterte, a long-time mayor of the city, who attended the opening ceremony.

The 260-room Acacia Hotel Davao has an amphitheater and event facilities that can accommodate up to 1,000 guests.

It is a renovated building located in the Lanang District, built about five years ago and bought by Cosco Capital in 2017. — Maya M. Padillo