Andrew Tan’s Megaworld to invest $ 797 million in Palawan Township, betting on tourism rebound
Megaworld, controlled by billionaire Andrew Tan, announced on Monday that it would invest 40 billion pesos ($ 797 million) to develop an “ecotourism township” in the southwest of the Philippine island of Palawan, betting on a strong recovery in the leisure travel market amid the increased deployment of Covid-19 vaccines.
The project to be named Paragua Coastown, which will include hotels, resorts, spas, schools, shopping district, cultural center, mangrove reserve park and residential developments such as private villas and apartments with services, will be built on 462 hectares of beach. front and inland properties on the shores of San Vicente, known to have the longest stretch of white sand beaches in the Philippines, Megaworld said in a statement. It will take between 10 and 15 years to complete the entire project, the company said.
“We have to look to the future when it comes to the tourism sector,” said Kevin Tan, director of strategy at Megaworld, in response to questions from Forbes Asia. “This project allows people to invest early in the rebound.”
Although the travel and tourism sectors have been hit hardest by the pandemic, Megaworld is seeing the first signs of recovery. “Even throughout the pandemic, our sales of various residential and commercial real estate products in our tourism-related townships have gone very well,” said Tan, eldest son of Megaworld founder Andrew. “Reservation sales in the first half of this year jumped 48%, especially for our projects in Boracay Newcoast, Twin Lakes and Eastland Heights. “
Paragua Coastown is strategically located just minutes from San Vicente Airport, which hosts regular flights from the Philippine capital of Manila and Clark. Palawan is considered the last frontier of the Philippines where there are two UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park and the Puerto Princesa Underground River.
“This new township in the beautiful town of San Vincente in Palawan will showcase the best in sustainable tourism and green living,” Tan said. “As we transform it into a world-class development, we are also committed to preserving the biodiversity of the island. “
Megaworld, which was founded by Tan’s father over 30 years ago, has developed 26 townships across the Philippines over the past two decades. With a net worth of $ 2.6 billion, Tan, 69, was ranked No.8 when the Philippines’ 50 richest list was released earlier this month. The son of a factory worker, Tan made his fortune developing large apartment complexes around Manila and now owns a business empire that spans food, drink, gambling, and real estate.