Asian casino junket operator SunCity Group will reportedly start shepherding some of their high-rollers to Okada Manila in the fourth quarter.
Quoting a Morgan Stanley note, GGRAsia reported that SunCity is expected to start ferrying VIP gamblers to the Universal Entertainment Corp integrated resort by the last quarter of the year.
“More [junkets] are to join in the fourth quarter 2017, including Suncity,” Morgan Stanley analysts Alex Poon and Praveen Choudhary said.
Still on Okada Manila, the international brokerage firm noted the rise of Chinese visitors in the newly opened integrated resort. Data showed that the number of Chinese tourists in the Philippines grew by 33 percent year-on-year in the first six months of the year.
The analysts attributed the resurgence of Chinese visitors in the Southeast Asian island nation to the thawing relationship between Beijing and Manila. In March, President Rodrigo Duterte made a state visit to China in order to mend the two countries’ relationship, which had been strained over the contested Spratly islands in the South China Sea.
Duterte’s visit to China paid off as the latter agreed to lift all travel restrictions to the Philippines. The Philippines, on the other hand, granted visas on arrival to Chinese visitors.
One particular constraint that the Morgan Stanley sees in Okada Manila is its hotel rooms. The financial institution noted that only 120 hotel rooms are operational and 90 percent of them are comped.
Morgan Stanley expects the number of rooms in Okada Manila to grow by 493 in the first quarter of 2018.
Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley expressed optimism on Manila’s Entertainment City as the number of tourism venues increase. They noted that Philippine-listed Ayala Land Inc. will launch a 557,400 sq. meter shopping center and 325-room hotel while they expect Okada Manila to have a full opening next year.
It also noted that the completion of NAIA expressway in December 2016 had already started bringing more locals to the Entertainment City.