Gensan's biggest hotel set to open in 4 months

GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- A consortium of Chinese-Filipino businessmen is eyeing to open a P250-million six-storey, 111-room high-end hotel in this city within the year.

Domingo Teng, a local tuna businessman, said Greenleaf Hotel Gensan is now 85 percent complete.

"This will be the biggest business hotel in the city that will cater to businessmen and high-end tourists," he told reporters Wednesday.

Teng said they expect to open the hotel "four months from now at the most" or in July that would charge its guests "reasonable rates."

Local and Manila-based investors decided to put up the hotel owing to positive growth indicators in the city, including the increase in incoming air passenger traffic by 14 percent from 2011 to 2012, he said.

There are daily flights to Manila as well as alternating routes to the cities of Cebu and Iloilo served by Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Philippine Express.

The city's economy has continued to grow as shown by the entry of big shopping malls like Robinsons and SM Mall, and the continued local construction boom, Teng said.

Greenleaf is located just across SM Mall on San Miguel Street at the heart of the city.

Known as the "Tuna Capital of the Philippines," this city hosts six of the country's seven tuna canneries with their executives among the target clienteles of the hotel, he added.

Teng said the city's economy is also expected to grow further due to the high migration in the locality that is Region 12's major economic hub.

Also known as Soccsksargen Region, it covers the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

Avelmar Manansala, city hall's media affairs officer, said the city has around 1,200 rooms both by big hotels and small lodging houses.

For really big conventions, the city is not yet fully capable in terms of accommodation since the existing capacity is not enough, he said, adding they expect the number of rooms to reach 1,500 likely in two years.

Manansala said that Greenleaf invested at least P250 million that entitled it to enjoy local tax breaks for seven years.

Greenleaf will be the second hotel to open this year after the 66-room Microtel, which opened last month.

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