‘World’s best islands’ bring holidaymakers and investors flocking to the Philippines

‘World’s best islands’ bring holidaymakers and investors flocking to the Philippines

The Philippines
  • International visitors account for 8.2% of GDP (Philippine Statistics Authority)
  • Domestic travellers spend 6 times as much as international tourists (Department of Tourism)
  • 3 Filipino islands make it into World’s Best Islands list (Time and Leisure)
  • Investors rush to meet surge in demand for high end resorts (Property Frontiers)

The 7,000 islands of the Philippines provide a stunning landscape of sandy beaches, lush vegetation and sparkling seas. Teeming with aquatic life, as well as reefs and shipwrecks ideal for snorkelers and divers, the islands offer a tropical paradise that is charming holidaymakers and investors alike.

JLL’s newly published Global Real Estate Transparency Index 2016 shone the spotlight on the Philippines this month, when it found that the Asia Pacific region is the most improved in the world for real estate transparency. Meanwhile, Time and Leisure magazine has included three of the islands – Palawan, Boracay and Cebu – in its World’s Best Islands list.

The delightful natural setting of the Philippines is certainly proving a winner with holidaymakers. International visitor numbers have risen to the point that spending by foreign visitors accounted for 8.2% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015 (equating to US$6.6 billion) and meaning that tourism is now officially the country’s third biggest export, according to the 2015 Philippine Tourism Satellite Accounts from the Philippine Statistics Authority. This increase in tourism has been marked in recent years: only five years ago, tourism accounted for just 4.3% of GDP.

The rise in visitor numbers has carried through into 2016. Department of Tourism data showed that international visitors increased by 8% in May 2016 compared with the previous May. In fact, the first five months of the year has seen international arrivals surpass the 2.5 million mark for the first time, representing a 13% increase over the same period in 2015.

Visitors are flocking to the Philippines from around the world. South Korea is the largest source of tourists at present, accounting for 1.3 million visitors in 2015 (25% of the total). The trend has held true so far in 2016, with South Korea accounting for 23.22% of visitors from January to April. The US comes second, accounting for 14.66% of international arrivals, with China in third place at 11.5%.

Hong Kong-based investment house CLSA has projected that the next few years may see Chinese visitors come to outnumber those from the US, following a rise in Chinese tourism to the Philippines of 62.44% in the year to April 2016. Philippine Airlines’ president and chief operating officer, Jaime Bautista, has echoed the sentiment, expressing confidence that the number of Chinese visitors to the Philippines could double in just three years.  The airline has announced its intention to add another Chinese city to its range of destinations by the end of 2016 as a result of the rapidly increasing visitor numbers.

At the same time as international visitor numbers are rising to record levels, domestic tourism has also leapt. Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo is actively encouraging domestic travelers to discover more of their significant country, not least because Department of Tourism figures have shown that they spend six times as much as international visitors. Domestic tourists spent P1.5 trillion during 2015, compared with the P227 billion spent by visitors from abroad.

The increase in both domestic and international visitor numbers has created significant opportunities for investors in Philippines real estate. Ray Withers, CEO of specialist international property investment company Property Frontiers, explains,

“Demand for high end hotel accommodation in the Philippines has never been greater and the country is racing to increase supply enough to keep up with demand. With high quality new resorts required in key tourism hotspots, international investors are keen to buy into the Philippines now in order to be part of the wave of new construction that is required to service the increased level of visitors. JLL’s finding that the Asia Pacific region is the most improved in the world for real estate transparency has furthered this significant trend of international demand for resort investments in the Philippines.”

Portofino Ocean’s Edge resort is a prime example. The ultra-luxurious, 5* clifftop resort on Carabao Island, minutes by boat from top island Boracay, boasts a private jetty and helipad for stylish arrivals, an infinity pool, spa and wellness centre for perfect pampering and a restaurant, bar and cliff edge clubhouse for socializing. There’s also an idyllic private beach for making the most of the stunning scenery that the Philippines provides.

Investors can own their own piece of Portofino Ocean’s Edge resort for just USD 109,000, including 10% interest during construction (now underway) and expected 15% NET return (underwritten at 10% minimum). Investment in the resort also includes 14 days of personal use per year, for the ultimate lifestyle benefit.

For more information, contact Property Frontiers by visiting www.propertyfrontiers.com or calling the team on +44 1865 202 700.


New Portofino resort highlights investment possibilities of Philippines’ hotel sector

New Portofino resort highlights investment possibilities of Philippines’ hotel sector

The Philippines
  • International tourist arrivals top 500k per month (Jan 2016)
  • Philippines will be the 16th largest global economy by 2050 (HSBC)
  • BBB Stable credit rating maintained (Standard & Poors)
  • Luxury boutique resort investment available from US $109k (Property Frontiers)

A brand new boutique hotel investment opportunity is highlighting the beauty and exclusivity of the Philippines to investors around the world.

The Portofino Ocean’s Edge Resort is a stunning villa resort with 10 cliff villas, 26 studio villas and 6 two-bedroom villas, along with its own private resort beach, private cove, cliff edge clubhouse, restaurant, bar, infinity pool, spa, wellness centre, beach bar, dive shop and private jetty. There’s even an on-site helipad for those guests looking to really arrive in style.

The five star beachfront Portofino Ocean’s Edge Resort is set on the gorgeous Filipino island of Carabao. It will bring a new level of elegance and luxury to tourism in the area when it opens in 2016.

Ray Withers, CEO of specialist property investment company Property Frontiers, comments,

“Portofino Ocean’s Edge Resort is the ideal investment for those looking to be a part of the Philippines’ resounding economic success story and the growth of its tourism sector. The opportunity offers all the advantages of a hotel investment and even includes 14 days’ personal usage per year, with no restrictions around when it can be used.”

The Philippines is the fastest growing country in East Asia, with more than 100 million citizens spread across its 7,000 islands, as well as some eight million or so working and living indefinitely overseas. The rich natural landscape of the islands attracts tourists from around the world, while local talent has led to a thriving services industry and manufacturing sector.

The country’s recent economic success and stability resulted in Standard & Poors reaffirming the Philippines as BBB Stable in April 2015 – its highest ever credit rating and one that the Filipino government is working hard to maintain. The country is committed to remaining one of Asia’s most attractive investment destinations, with a programme of infrastructure improvements underway as part of that commitment.

Fitch followed in Standard & Poors’ footsteps in September 2015, with a rating of BBB- Positive, while Moody’s graded the Philippines as Baa2 Stable in December of the same year.

Yet despite this significant economic progress, there remains a lack of high end hotel accommodation to service the government’s target of 6 million tourists in 2016. Kevin Wallace of Plateno Group, which is behind the luxury Portofino development, explains,

“There’s a big shortage of hotel rooms in this country and an even bigger shortage of branded rooms with a consistent quality.”

Investment in Portofino Ocean’s Edge Resort starts from US $109,000 for a studio villa. Cliff villas are available for US $120,000 and two bedroom villas for US $272,000. 10% interest is paid during construction and investors benefit from 10% underwritten (minimum) NET return.

Portofino Ocean’s Edge Resort has a clear exit strategy, with optional developer buyback at 120%, offering 70% minimum return on investment across five years.

Completion of the resort is scheduled for September 2016, but as only 50% of the rooms have been released for private investment they are expected to be snapped up long before then.

The Philippines is well used to money flowing in from overseas. Remittances from overseas Filipino workers account for around 13.5% of GDP. This was a significant factor in the country’s investment status upgrade and affords the Philippines an excellent measure of income stability, with money flowing in from different sources.

As well as remittances from overseas, the Philippines benefits from a flourishing manufacturing sector, with electronics and aerospace products making a significant contribution to GDP. Tourism also plays its part, with in-month international arrivals topping the 500,000 mark for the first time in January 2016 (they reached 542,258 in total for the month).

HSBC has projected that the Philippines will be the 16th largest economy in the world by 2050. It’s a country that’s moving from a largely agricultural past to a future dominated by the services industry (particularly banking), manufacturing and tourism.

Those wanting to be a part of its future should contact Property Frontiers for further details: visit www.propertyfrontiers.com or call the team on +44 1865 202 700.

A Perfectly Profitable Paradise – More reasons to invest in the Philippines

The Philippines

If you are thinking about investing in the Philippines you’ll be pleased to hear that the World Bank has ranked the Philippines as one of the world’s 10 most improved economies in facilitating trade and investment across borders.


The Philippines has improved 7 places in the last year alone from 68 to 61 in the World Bank’s rankings for trading across borders (out of 183 economies). It takes for example an average of 21 days in the Philippines to obtain a construction permit whilst the regional average stands at 45 days.


The government of the Philippines is continuing its effort to improve conditions for international investors. One such measure has been to draw up a ‘Magna Carta’ for investors, designed to protect the rights of people investing in the Philippines. According to the Department of Trade and Industry this bill is likely to be finalised and passed early next year.


The government is actively encouraging foreign investment in a variety of industries including energy, technology and tourism. Special TIEZA’s (Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority) have been created to provide incentives for international investors. Some of these include tax and duty free importation of capital investment, equipment and transportation.


It may come as a surprise to many that the Philippines is the third largest English speaking country in the world with a large expatriate community. This makes it an attractive location for both tourists and investors.


Millions of tourists continue to be attracted to the amazing beaches, world class dive spots, exotic volcanoes and of course the 7,000 plus islands. Tourist numbers are expected to grow to just over 3.8 million by 2012, representing an 8.4% growth rate from this year (Govt of Philippines).


As Steven Worboys, MD of Philippines property experts, Experience International, comments,


“International investors are more confident than ever in choosing the Philippines as their investment destination. One of the most popular locations has been Mactan Island in Cebu province which provides a fantastic opportunity to benefit from the rising tourist numbers, rich natural biodiversity and wide range of resources this island has to offer.”


One property development which has received particular investor interest is the 5* Blue Coral Resort & Spa, frontline residences on Mactan Island. With first class facilities overlooking the crystal clear waters of the Bohol Straits, the newly released hotel suites, studios, 2 bed apartments and 2 bed luxury pool villas start from $83,500 with an impressive 21% guaranteed annual income. In addition 60% non-status finance is available and the resort will be managed by a world-leading tour operator guaranteeing 80% occupancy.


For more information about investing in the perfectly profitable paradise which is the Philippines in 2011 and indeed the Blue Coral Resort & Spa contact the experts at Experience International on +44 (0) 207 321 5858 or visit www.experience-international.com

Philippines prepares for prosperity in 2011

The Philippines


As we leave behind the ferocious year of the Tiger and embrace the more restful year of the Rabbit, the Philippines is busy preparing itself for prosperity in 2011.
According to the Philippines property investment experts at Experience International, the ‘Pearl of the Orient’ presents strong fundamentals for success with a robust economy, increasing levels of foreign direct investment, booming tourism and a thriving property market and will play a key role in Asia’s exit from the global recession. 
As Steven Worboys, MD of Experience International, comments: “The Philippines holds a great deal of potential, with a wealth of natural resources, a dynamic and progressive business outlook and a population committed to future prosperity, 2011 is set to be a fortuitous year for this Asian nation.”
The Philippines’ economy has remained robust over the last 12 months with 6.7% GDP growth reported in Q3 2010 and 7.7% growth year-on-year (National Economic and Development Authority). Indeed the international credit ratings agency, Standard & Poor’s upgrade of the nation’s long-term foreign currency credit rating by one notch to BB was a “statement of confidence on the country’s bright prospects moving forward” said the Governor of the Central Bank of the Philippines.
Confidence in the economy remains on display through the ever increasing levels of foreign direct investment for example the new IBM outsourcing centre in Manila which opened this month. The Philippines has now overtaken India as the call centre capital of the world with revenues of $12 – $13 billion expected in 2011 rising to $100 billion by 2020.
Another sector which is significantly boosting economic performance is the tourism industry. The tropical paradise that is the Philippines attracts visitors from all over the world but it is becoming increasingly popular with the British. From January to July 2010 visitors from the UK posted an amazing 11% growth rate leading to expectations of over 100,000 British visitors by the year’s end (Philippines Department of Tourism, 2010).
Responding to demand from not only the multi-national companies opening offices in the Philippines but also the increasing numbers of tourists to the islands seeking accommodation, the Philippines property market is experiencing an upswing.
Property management group CB Richard Ellis Philippines recently heralded the strength of the real estate sector remarking that “foreign Investors are showing increased confidence in the real estate market due to favourable macro-economic factors such as 8% growth, record remittances, a young and highly educated population, one of the best performing stock markets in Asia for 2010”.
And this is a view shared by the experts at Experience International who are seeing their project on the perfectly profitable paradise of Mactan Island selling out very rapidly.
The 5* Blue Coral Resort & Spa is a frontline development with first class facilities overlooking the crystal clear waters of the Bohol Straits. The newly released hotel suites, studios, 2 bed apartments and 2 bed luxury pool villas start from $83,500 with an impressive 21% guaranteed annual income. In addition 60% non-status finance is available and the resort will be managed by a world-leading tour operator guaranteeing 80% occupancy.
For more information on investing in the prosperous Philippines in 2011 and indeed the Blue Coral Resort & Spa contact the experts at Experience International on +44 (0) 207 321 5858 or visit www.experience-international.com.

Property in the Philippines – An investment not to be overlooked

The Philippines


According to latest figures released by The Global Property Guide the Philippines has ranked an impressive third place as a destination in which to invest in property with annual yields quoted at 10.99%.
Located in south east Asia, the Philippines has succeeded in beating off most other global property markets ranking third only to Peru and Indonesia with the impressive 10.99% annual yields being calculated on average yields for 120 sq m properties. 
So why are investors flocking to the Philippines?
  1. Rapidly developing nations such as China are located close by and with new direct flights being regularly introduced the Philippines is becoming a tourist retreat for Asian nationals
  2. The Philippines economy is enjoying a boost as the nation becomes a preferred business outsourcing base particularly for offshore call centres.
  3. The Philippines government is taking a long term view towards economic growth and stability with foreign direct investment encouraged and improvements to internal infrastructure underway.
  4. The close regulation on land use should ensure that this country remains unspoiled and never become a Costa del Sol horror story.
  5. The cost of purchasing property is relatively inexpensive compared to the West.
Steven Worboys, Managing Director of Experience International which specialises in emerging real estate, comments:
 “We are finding a more discerning purchaser considering the Philippines. Thailand and Malaysia have always been popular locations for investors in South East Asia but value for money and guaranteed rentals in the Philippines has encouraged a great deal of interest to these relatively unknown cluster of islands. 
“The Philippines is becoming a very popular tourism destination with the Australian market due to its proximity and has always been a hotspot for the American tourists however the expatriate community based in south east Asia are now visiting in their droves and often purchase their very own a slice of paradise”.
Experience International has a number of stunning developments available in the Philippines, with the popular Continent Fairways resort being located in the Boracay Bay area where the newest 5 star Shangri La hotel has just opened. Investment is from as little as £26,000 / $42,900 and 60% non-status finance is available.
For more information contact Experience International on 0207 321 5858, visit http://www.experience-international.com/country/philippines/development/Boracay-property or follow us at www.twitter.com/experience_int.

Tourists hitting a hole in one in the Philippines

The Philippines


After a record year in 2008 for the Philippines, reaching 3.14 million tourists, you wouldn’t be on your own in thinking that this must be a pre-economic-crisis trend like so many other nations in and beyond south-east Asia. However, according to the Philippines Department of Tourism, this 7,107 island strong archipelago has bucked the trend and has announced a 51% increase in tourist arrivals for the first quarter of 2009 compared with the same period the year before. The Philippines has also gained the accolade of ‘Most Popular Destination in Asia’ at the recent World Travel Fair (WTF) after the island of Borocay snatched Best Leisure Destination at last year’s event.
Borocay is one of the most frequently visited destinations with 383,813 visitors, it makes up one of the key destinations to have increased tourism by 6 percent in the first half of the year despite a decrease of 6 percent in inbound visitors into East Asia and the Pacific.
“The Tourism department foresees that increased investments in accommodation and transportation as well as development of new facilities and destinations will sustain the growth of the sector and position Philippine tourism for the next level of growth spurts as international markets recover from the global economic downturn”, according to the Manila Times. Developments such as Continent Fairways on Borocay, will enhance the offering of the Fairways & Bluewater Resort Golf & Country Club through 56 luxuriously finished and fully furnished hotel suites providing greater accommodation options as well as encouraging foreign investment into the country.
Aparthotels are becoming increasingly popular with visitors seeking the comforts and amenities of established resorts, without making sacrifices for spacious accommodation and the freedom of private cooking facilities. Oriental Spirit Travel & Tours is expecting an 80% occupancy rate for Continent Fairways reflecting the increase in visitor numbers and demand for tourist accommodation in idyllic locations such as Borocay. Not only does this island boast power white beaches and azure blue warm waters, but Continent Fairways will have access to the 18 hole par 72 championship golf course designed by Australian master golfer Graham Marsh which stretches the breadth of the island.
Golf in the Philippines is taken very seriously and attracts players from all over the world. According to the Guinness World Book of Records, the Philippines hosts the ‘World’s biggest amateur golf tournament’, known as the Fil-Am Golf Championship since 1949. The country boasts courses from prestigious international and local tournaments such as the Johnnie Walker Classic, the World Cup, The Asian PGA, and the Philippine Open. The excellent climate and diverse topography allows the golfer year round and varied play.
It is thought that golf was originally introduced to the Philippines by the Irish; engineers working on the Panay railroad played the sport in a bid to bring a piece of home to their tropical workplace. Today though it is not the Irish who are visiting in growing numbers but tourists from new markets such as Russia, China, India and the Middle East. This has been helped by improved air links between the countries. China Eastern Air now flies directly between Shanghai and Cebu twice weekly plus more chartered air services have been laid on from China and Russia to Borocay. The Philippine Department of Tourism reported that tourist arrivals from Russia grew by 36.70 percent, India by 15.36 percent, and China by 9.95 percent.

For investors it isn’t just the prospect of increasing and new tourist markets for the Philippines that is enticing them to invest in the property market but the relative stability of the economy. According to the New York Times, the Philippines expects GDP to grow by 2 to 3 percent this year, a rate superior to anything in East Asia other than China and Vietnam, followed by a 4.5 growth for several years the most sustained improvement since the 1970’s. Much of this comes from foreign earnings from workers overseas plus the outsourcing of business services such as call centres from more developed western countries. Over recent years interest rates have reduced decreasing the countries debt servicing and making room for money to be spent on crucial infrastructure, health and education improvements.
Properties on the Continent Fairways Resort are available to property investors from as little as £26,000, the deposit required for a studio suite on the resort and the resort is offering guaranteed rentals to buyers of 14% net yield per annum. Alongside the golf course a fully equipped fitness centre, swimming pool, Jacuzzi and spa, clubhouse with bar and cocktail lounge, and restaurant are available to owners and holiday makers on site plus it wouldn’t be the award winning Philippines without the pristine white beaches and crystal clear waters in view from the apartments.
For more information contact Experience International on 0207 321 5858 or visit www.experience-international.com.
—- ENDS —-
Low risk, hassle free investment:
          Stunning tropical location
          Low entry level – investment from US$42,900/ £26,000
          14 two bed suites – up to 114.25sqm from US$254,314
          42 studio apartments – up to 53.5sqm from US$110,000
          60% non-status finance available
          Guaranteed 14% minimum net yield per annum
          Generous personal usage
          Renowned high quality resort operator
          Fully furnished to 5 star standard
          Front line golf development
          Complimentary corporate membership to the Fairways & Bluewater Golf & Country Club
Please do get in contact for information on how rental yields have been calculated – we’ll be happy to send you the investment scenarios and rental guarantee details.

A gem of an investment in the "Pearl of the Orient Seas" – The Philippines

The Philippines

A gem of an investment in the “Pearl of the Orient Seas” – The Philippines

For those purchasers keen to be ahead of the game, The Philippines is the latest market to burst onto the international property scene. This Southeast Asian island country offers the attractive blend of a tropical climate, low cost of living, thriving economy and good accessibility and is proving to be a destination more popular than ever with a near 4% rise in tourist arrivals reported for Jan – Oct 2008 compared to the previous year (Central Bank of the Philippines).
Named after the 16th century King Philip II of Spain, The Philippines comprises over 7,000 separate islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It has a population of 90 million and although around 180 languages are spoken across the islands, the two official languages are Filipino and English. Philippine culture is a mix of pre-Hispanic Austronesian (Malayo Polynesian) civilisations, Hispanic and American culture, and to a lesser extent Chinese, Arab, and Indian cultures.
Following a period of marshal law from 1972, the People Power Revolution of 1986 led the country back to the thriving democracy it is today. Turbulence in the late 1980´s gave way to stability and economic growth in the 1990´s. The Philippines is regarded as a newly industrialised country and now receives substantial contributions from manufacturing and mining sectors as well as remittances from overseas Filipinos. Tourism is hugely important as is, increasingly, outsourcing from international businesses. The Philippines has the potential to become one of the largest economies of the world in the 21st century according to Goldman Sachs´ ´Next Eleven´ paper.
The Philippines also represents an exciting alternative to traditional property investments in the West, particularly given recent economic developments. According to a recent World Bank report, thanks to various fiscal and other reforms during the last several years The Philippines is in a good position to weather current difficulties. The report cited continued strong performance in private investments and construction, in addition to better than expected crop harvest yields. There was also higher manufacturing output and continued remittance from the 8 million Filipinos who work overseas.
Such economic resilience is likely to lure increasing international investment into the property market. Demand from Europe, the United States and Russia for city centre and resort properties has been brought about thanks to cheaper prices and the requirement from investors to shift their money into strong emerging markets. Savvier investors are looking for investments with the potential for high monthly rental yields and developments such as the Blue Coral Resort and Spa on Mactan Island, which is to be run as a managed resort hotel, increasingly seem a sound investment. Philippine hotel rates are on a par with the US or Europe, whilst entry level purchasing prices for freehold property are much lower. A deposit on a new fully furnished, five star apartment or villa for example can be as low as £2000.
Mactan Island, subject to much developer interest, is located in part of the central Philippine province of Cebu in the Bohol Strait. This beautiful coral island is surrounded by azure water with extensive mangrove forests and offers some of Asia’s best diving facilities and lush golf-courses. There are modern shopping centres, fine-dining restaurants and lively entertainment centres. Thanks to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport and its proximity to Cebu, the area’s tourism industry has boomed significantly with the local economy feeling the positive effects. Recently, a further £4 million of investment in the airport has been announced, together with the planned addition of another terminal due to the increasing volume of passenger traffic.
Steve Worboys, Managing Director of Experience International, comments:
“Our development on Mactan Island is ideal for property purchasers or investors who are disappointed with the returns on traditional investments and who want to look abroad towards exciting emerging markets. Our properties, to be run as part of a fully managed resort, will allow purchasers or renters to experience the best of life in The Philippines, surrounded by a plethora of facilities. These will include 26 spa rooms, a gymnasium, water sports, diving school, wellness spa, health pools and a private beach.
“The ´credit crunch´ has affected The Philippines to a much lesser extent and given the local price of property and the increasing demand for accommodation in the area, we estimate that properties taking part in our rental management scheme will yield 19.5% per year and up to 150% return on investment over 5 years. These numbers, together with all the other benefits, make investing in the resort seem like simple common sense.”
For more information on this exciting opportunity, visit www.experience-international.com or call 020 7321 5858.
On the market:
Blue Coral Resort and Spa, Mactan Island, Philippines
The Philippines are known as the “pearl of the orient seas” which lie 750 miles off the coast of Asia and consist of over 7000 islands. The Blue Coral resort and Spa is situated in part of the province of Cebu in the Bohol Strait and has a successful tourism economy which has grown over the past few years. It is a region that offers modern shopping centres, fine dining, local entertainment and some of the finest white-powder tropical beaches in Asia.
Blue Coral is a 5 star resort offering studio and 2 bedroom apartments and 2 and 3 bedroom villas on the eastern side of the stunning coral island of Mactan. Situated in close proximity to Cebu city and Cebu international airport these properties are easily accessible and overlook the neighbouring island Cordova.
Facilities on site at Blue Coral Resort and Spa include 26 spa rooms, gymnasium, water sports, diving school, wellness spa, children’s pool and play area, infinity pool and private beach. The properties are to run as a managed resort hotel offering investors high rental yields with a guaranteed net income of up to 19.5%. Prices start from £63,450/ €66,704.