Friday , July 19 2024

Philippines wants to surpass Singapore as Asia’s second largest casino hub

The Philippines hopes to overtake Singapore as the second largest gambling destination in Asia after Macau by opening new integrated resort and casinos with an eye on tourism.

A new resort will open in Manila later this year, and eight more casinos are being planned, Bloomberg reported quoting Alejandro Tengco, chairman and chief executive of regulator Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.

The Philippine government is counting on the new casinos to revive tourism, which were hit hard during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Opening new hotels would help boost the tourism and hospitality industries, which are “slowly recovering” from the restrictions imposed by Covid, Philippine Hotel Owners Association president Arthur Lopez was quoted as saying by news site Philstar.

The association has an inventory of an estimated 40,000 rooms and “continues to expand,” Lopez said, noting that the Philippines should have “80,000 rooms to compete with the regional hotels in Asia.”

This year, the Philippines is targeting 7.7 million foreign tourists after drawing 5.45 million in 2023, still below the pre-pandemic level of 8.26 million in 2019.

There were 1.6 million arrivals in the first quarter, a 21.3% year-on-year increase.

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