Hotels report occupancies grew during FIBA WC 2023


SEVERAL hotels in Metro Manila saw higher occupancy rates during the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, which the country co-hosted with Indonesia and Japan, from August 25 to September 10, 2023.

In a news statement, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said: “Conrad Manila reported a 100 percent average hotel occupancy….Other hotels in Pasay also saw a higher average hotel occupancy, including Hotel101-Manila and Microtel MOA (Mall of Asia) which both reported 92 percent, Hilton Manila with 91.8 percent, and TRYP [by Wyndham] MOA with 91 percent. Meanwhile, Grand Hyatt Manila in Taguig also reported an impressive 96-percent hotel occupancy rate during the same period.”

Hotel 101-Manila, Microtel by Wyndam MOA were earlier designated by FIBA organizers as official media hotels, along with Seda Vertis North in Quezon City, and as such, were promoted in the event’s media kit. Organizers had also designated Conrad Manila and Edsa Shangri-La, Manila as official hotels for the basketball teams, Novotel Manila in Cubao and Hilton Manila were for FIBA officials and staff, while Sofitel Philippine Plaza and TRYP by Wyndham hosted VIPs, the FIBA secretariat, and FIBA organizers.

Hotel Sales and Marketing Association president Loleth So told the BusinessMirror, “The official FIBA team accommodations [were] booked directly with the official hotels.”

Industry officials said many official hotels had worked “as early as one year ago” for their official FIBA designation.

Jose Mari del Rosario, president and CEO of Phinma Microtel Hotels Inc. and Phinma Hospitality Inc., said it was the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP)  that “took an active role in screening/shortlisting [the official hotels].

The shortlisting was driven primarily by proximity to the venues, ergo, both TRYP by Wyndham and Microtel by Wydham MOA had strong advantages.”

A source in Conrad Manila, speaking on background, added “The accreditation was done one year ago, but there were already discussions prior to the pandemic. We bid to be one of the hotels of FIBA through the SBP.”

SBP, which led the campaign for the Philippines to co-host the games, also headed the local organizing committee in Manila.

Visitor arrivals

The DOT claimed higher visitor arrivals because of the FIBA tourney.  “Out of the 20 countries with teams that competed…almost half registered a growth rate of more than 100 percent in terms of visitor arrivals to the Philippines from July 1 to September 12 versus the same period in 2022. Among these countries with notable growth rates in arrivals to the Philippines during the specified period include the Dominican Republic (700 percent);  Latvia (600 percent), China (595.85 percent); Lithuania (444.58 percent); and Serbia (429.07 percent).”

The agency did not disclose the actual number of arrivals for these countries during the FIBA tournament period, but the latest data showed total visitor arrivals from January to September 18 reached 3.86 million. Of the arrivals during the nine-month period, 165 were from the Dominican Republic; 792 were from Latvia; 184,171 were from China; 1,382 were from Lithuania; and 787 were from Serbia.

The DOT, however, didn’t address the lack of tour bookings by visitors for the FIBA event due to their lack of accreditation by the international sporting federation. (See, “PHL fails to score on local tours for FIBA tournament,” in the BusinessMirror, September 8, 2023.)

“FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 has brought to the fore our excellent hospitality and the distinct Filipino virtues of familial welcome and warmth for our guests,” said Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco. “The country’s undisputed love for basketball also shone from our united support for our Gilas Team to the record-breaking attendance on opening day. This winning feat also manifested in tourism, with teams, basketball fans, families, and members of country delegations enjoying our accommodation and hospitality industries, and discovering our local destinations,” she added.

She said the DOT is committed to further developing sports tourism as a major program. 

Image credits: Hilton