A Philippine success story

A recent headline in The Philippine Star newspaper read: “Philippines to jump from ‘Pussycat’ to trillion dollar ‘tiger’ economy”

A Philippine success story

A recent headline in The Philippine Star newspaper read:

“Philippines to jump from ‘Pussycat’ to trillion dollar ‘tiger’ economy”

The lead in read: “The Philippines is set to become a trillion-dollar tiger economy by 2030 with its capacity to post long-term economic growth, Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific chief economist for global information company IHS said.”

Biswas’ analysis comes ahead of the World Economic Forum in Manila, which will take place from May 21 to 23.

The Philippines as a whole has been outperforming its Asean neighbors with growth rates in excess of 7%. However, that must be tempered with recent disasters such as the typhoon that hit Tacloban last year just to the east of here. Nonetheless The Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu, the Philippines’ second largest city, is a great example of how a hotel can mimic the economy.

What do Lady Radisson, Flying Chef, and Dilmah Tea all have in common?

In short they are all new initiatives undertaken by The RadissonBlu Hotel. Under a newly-arrived general manager, new ideas to promote a hotel are par for the course, but in this case they go further than mere innovation. I would call it thinking outside the box.

On a recent trip to Cebu I was able to sit down with Nishan Silva, the new general manager, and find out how the hotel was performing within the present economic climate.

Primarily a business hotel in the Philippines’ second largest city, Nishan explained the hotel sees growth in the area of meetings and conventions. In fact, when I was there, a major medical conference had just begun.

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Now to the explanation of Lady Radisson, Dilamh Tea, and Flying Chef.

Nishan wants to take the hotel into the community and is doing it in ways no one had previously thought about. With Flying Chef, the hotel will lend its expertise to cooking your dinner at home. Providing that the home is within the city and you shop for your ingredients, the hotel chef, under the supervision of executive chef Frederic Cyr, will travel out with a team and prepare and cook dinner for you and your friends in your own kitchen… The idea is simple yet unique and can extend the Radisson Blu Brand into your home and create a buzz – particularly if the dinner is a success.

Nishan, hailing from Sri Lanka, has perchance, chosen tea over coffee to create that perfect setting in the lobby… Why not coffee? According to Nishan, “tea is becoming more and more appreciated and savored around the world, and I wanted to bring a touch of Sri Lanka to my hotel and create a tea room where all can relax and sip, yes, my country’s Teas-Dilmah.”

If that wasn’t enough, Lady Radisson, an exclusive all-encompassing ladies club, will reach out to the ladies in the community and offer an alternative to the masculine world of men’s clubs.

The economic barometer in the Philippines is steady and rising, and Cebu is no exception, with a new airport being planned for the Mactan Island side and tourism most certainly on the rise. Facing adversity head-on is what the country and Cebu do best.

It is perhaps no accident that Manila was chosen to host the World Economic Forum this month. Stay tuned for more positive news on the Philippines.

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