MPIC Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan says listed firm’s aspiration is to ‘play a significant role’ in the growing tourism industry in the Philippines. — BW FILE PHOTO

METRO Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) is venturing into the hospitality and real estate business starting with a P1.6-billion partnership with Thailand-based hotel firm Dusit International.

In a statement to the stock exchange, the listed conglomerate said it had signed an investment deal with Dusit yesterday for the joint development and management of hotels and condominiums in the Philippines.

The partnership will commence this year with the development of two hotels and three condominiums in MPIC’s properties in Batangas. Existing properties of Dusit in the Philippines will also be upgraded.

Among Dusit’s properties in the country are five-star hotel Dusit Thani Manila in Makati City, private island resort Dusit Thani Lubi Plantation Resort in Davao, contemporary hotels dusitD2 in Davao and dusitD2 The Fort in Bonifacio Global City, Dusit Thani Residence in Davao, and Dusit Thani Mactan in Cebu.

For projects under the partnership, MPIC’s newly-formed real estate, hospitality and tourism arm Metro Vantage Properties, Inc. will handle the design, development, marketing and sales. Then for Dusit International, its local unit Dusit Thani Philippines will take charge of hospitality and tourism responsibilities.

MPIC Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said it is the listed firm’s aspiration to “play a significant role” in the growing tourism industry in the Philippines.

“MPIC’s fundamental goal is to seek investment opportunities that create value for our stakeholders… With this endeavor, we will support the tourism industry by developing thoughtfully-designed properties offering unique leisure experiences to travelers,” he was quoted in the statement as saying.

“We will seek to develop additional sites over time as demand grows for tourism and travel in the country,” he added.

For Dusit, the partnership is also ideal as it wants to ride on the expanding tourism industry in the Philippines.

“This is an opportunity for us to demonstrate our expertise in bringing distinct Thai hospitality and MPIC’s place in the Philippine market to deliver unique hotel experiences fulfilling the needs of our guests,” Dusit International Group Chief Executive Officer Suphajee Suthumpun was quoted as saying.

Shares in MPIC at the stock exchange saw a two centavo or 0.64% uptick to P3.16 each at the close of Wednesday’s trading.

Metro Pacific Investments Corp. is one of three Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT Inc. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Denise A. Valdez