PRESIDENT AND CEO
Travellers International Hotel Group
POWER SCORE: 591
POSITION LAST YEAR: 42
CLAIMS TO FAME
- Led Resorts World Manila since its debut as the Philippines’ first integrated resort in 2009
- Okura Hotel opening completes US$650 million Grand Wing expansion
- Long awaited Entertainment City project taking shape in partnership with Hong Kong’s Suncity Group
Resorts World Manila changed the game in the Philippine capital when it opened in 2009. Travellers International Hotel Group’s combination of a casino, hotels, shopping mall and theater on the fringe of the nation’s gateway airport proved an irresistible attraction, especially compared with government operated PAGCOR casinos that were previously the rule. But the March 2013 opening of Solaire took the gaming product mix up another notch, beginning the rise of Entertainment City along Manila Bay, shifting the center of gaming gravity away from Resorts World Manila.
As two more IRs came to Entertainment City, speculation grew about when, or even if, the joint venture between Philippine billionaire Tan’s Alliance Global Group and Genting Hong Kong would develop its assigned plot there, at the risk of cannibalizing RWM. Now there’s an answer. Travellers has retained a minority stake in development of a casino hotel with Alvin Chau’s Suncity Group holding the majority. The casino hotel is part of the Westside City project, a 31 hectare (77 acre) project with more hotels, a shopping mall, theater and residences developed by Alliance Global affiliate Megaworld, similar to Megaworld’s Newport City development surrounding RWM.
After RWM suffered a deadly attack in June 2017, Travellers accelerated its US$650 million Grand Wing expansion. Manila’s first Okura Hotel, due to accept guests this quarter – its signature Yamazato restaurant is already open – completes the expansion. Additions, including new gaming areas, have aided recovery, but since Travellers delisted from Manila’s stock market last year, there’s no telling how much they’ve helped defy gravity.
For the full list of 2020 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.