The chairman of Philippine casino developer and operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp says it is seeing an increase in tourists from South Korea, China, and other Asian countries amid the post-pandemic recovery.
Enrique Razon (pictured in a file photo), boss of the company that runs Solaire Resort and Casino in Entertainment City, in Manila, was speaking on Thursday, the day of Bloomberry’s annual meeting for shareholders, as cited by local media.
Mr Razon added however that for the remainder of this year he expected domestic mass-market gamblers to be the mainstay of the casino resort business. He cited a government forecast of 6 percent to 7 percent growth this year in Philippine gross domestic product as a supporting factor.
The mass gaming segment was “primed to set new highs in 2023 and will continue to contribute the lion’s share of our revenues,” the Business World news outlet quoted him as saying.
Fitch Ratings Inc had mentioned in a recent note that outbound international flights from mainland China – previously a significant source market for tourists for the Philippines – were still 70 percent below 2019 level.
In early March, Philippines-listed Bloomberry Resorts reported 2022 net income of PHP5.14 billion (US$91.9 million at current exchange rates), after a net loss of PHP4.25 billion in 2021.
Ports and casino entrepreneur Mr Razon, the second-wealthiest Filipino on the latest Forbes World’s Billionaires List, also gave some further commentary on Thursday about the opening schedule for his second casino resort, Solaire North, at Quezon City, near Manila.
Bloomberry had mentioned at the time of its annual results that the launch had been delayed to the first quarter next year.
The businessman hinted – as reported by Business World – that opening of the scheme, where excavation had started in 2019, might slip beyond the first quarter next year.
“Very soon, we will be able to determine a hard date for opening but we still expect as of today for that opening to be within the first quarter of 2024,” he was cited as saying.
Mr Razon mentioned that – in addition to “obvious” reasons associated with the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns – there had been “disruptions in the supply chain and components that come from abroad”.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer cited Mr Razon as saying Solaire North was undergoing the “last few months of construction”.
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