A company linked to Philippine entrepreneur Andrew Tan is involved in one of the four consortiums bidding for a reportedly PHP170.6-billion (US$3.08-billion) public-private partnership project to upgrade Ninoy Aquino International Airport (pictured), the main air hub for that country’s capital, Manila.
Mr Tan’s family-founded conglomerate Alliance Global Group Inc also has investment – via Travellers International Hotel Group Inc – in the Newport World Resorts casino complex next door to the airport, and which is linked to the air hub via a footbridge.
The Department of Transportation identified on Wednesday the four air hub-upgrade bidders as: the Manila International Airport Consortium (MIAC); Asia Airport Consortium; GMR Airports Consortium; and SMC SAP and Co Consortium, reported Business World Online, citing the transport department.
The MIAC consortium involves Mr Tan’s Alliance Global InfraCorp Development Inc, as well as: Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc; AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp; Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp; Filinvest Development Corp; JG Summit Infrastructure Holdings Corp; and GIP EM MIAC Pte Ltd.
The news outlet mentioned MIAC had previously submitted a PHP267-billion unsolicited proposal to operate and modernise the airport, but it had been rejected by the government.
Upgrade and possible expansion of the airport has long been touted by national governments as an important element in expanding tourism to the Philippines. The country’s large-scale private-sector casinos – including the properties in the Entertainment City zone in the capital – have been keen to attract inbound tourists as gambling customers.
In the shorter term for general tourism, the Philippines’ Secretary of Tourism, Christina Frasco, said in mid-December the country aimed to draw 7.7 million foreign visitors in 2024 after exceeding its arrival goals for 2023. That would be about 52 percent more than the just-under 5.07 million international visitors coming to the country in the calendar year up to mid-December.
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