Good news to weekenders and those spending their summer vacation in the City of Pines!
One of Baguio City’s top-rated midscale hotels, Microtel by Wyndham Baguio will open 30 newly constructed rooms by summer this year, with the first batch to be unveiled by February in time for the Panagbenga Festival.
Microtel will introduce the first phase of the expansion to accommodate the high demand for rooms during Panagbenga period. The rest will likely be finished in March, says Microtel’s area general manager for North Luzon, Roy Martin, who shared the development with us during our recent visit over the weekend.
If you’re one of those tourists who board the bus to Baguio without a hotel booking, this is definitely a welcome news! With Microtel connected to the Victory Liner terminal via a walkway, travelers typically walk in at the midscale hotel hoping to get a room. But its 60 rooms easily get fully booked during high season.
Interestingly, Microtel’s expansion comes amid rumors that one of the world’s 5 biggest hotel groups is building a hotel in Baguio. Another hotel that is part of a growing local hospitality brand is also eyeing to set foot in the city.
The growth of Baguio is fueled by several factors like shortened travel time thanks to TPLEX that makes the city an ideal weekend destination, says Martin, who also oversee Microtel in Tarlac and Cabanatuan.
But we’ve taken two other interesting market observations that Martin shared:
- Baguio “first-timers” – Martin sees a renewed interest among people who have not come back to the city after several years or over the past decade. They are “first-timers” who will likely seek classic attractions they’ve been to before, as well as explore new sites. What drives them to return? It could be repeat visitors. In Microtel’s case, Martin says, “When a repeat guest returns, they bring along newcomers to Baguio.” To serve such guests, Microtel Baguio offers a special tour package (accommodation and tours) for these “first-timers”.
- The growing bleisure market – Although the word “bleisure” (portmanteau of “business” and “leisure”) doesn’t sit well with commentators who describe it as a “terrible marketing neologism”, bleisure is a reality for Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. who is pushing for the Philippines to the business travel market. In Baguio, hotels like Microtel see business travelers bring along their families in the trip. This segment demands more rooms and more room nights.