Xenia Hotel opens at Clark

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    (OPENING RITES. Cutting the ceremonial ribbon signalling the official opening of Xenia Hotel are (L-R): Thelma Ocampo, CDC marketing and promotions manager; Dra. Jocelyn Purla of the AFP Medical Center; Undersecretary Edgar Galvante of the Dangerous Drugs Board; Lee Shin Kun, Donggwang Corp, chairman; Park Jin Yong, Xenia Hotel Corp. chairman, an his wife Park Hye Won; Kim Byung Cheol, Xenia Hotel vice chairman; and Yul Duguil, hotel consultant. Photo by Bong Lacson)

    CLARK FREEPORT — The Xenia Hotel, located along C.M. Recto Highway at the commercial area here, has finally opened its doors to the public amid pomp and pageantry over the weekend.

    Named after Xenia, the goddess of hospitality, the 200-room luxury hotel promises to offer its guests with excellent services where “hospitality is a benchmark” with world-class facilities.

    “We will offer hospitality service, second to none,” promises Mark Talampas, executive director for hotel operations shortly after the inauguration.

    He explained that the hotel is a sub-lessee of the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) with its principal locator – the Donggwang Clark Corp. (DCC).

    Talampas said in 2014, the Xenia Hotel Corp. board of directors headed by its president Son Bong Sam was approached by DCC and offered its existing Towers 1 and 2 for hotel operations.

    He said the members of the Xenia board of directors expressed optimism in Clark since “Clark is the new upcoming hub of the tourism industry and the government’s thrust into tourism has been shifted to the north.”

    Talampas also said “there are quite a number of industries in Clark and based on the recent statistics of the Clark International Airport (CIA) the number of tourists has been steadily growing.

    “So it was a common consensus to invest here in Clark,” he added.

    Hotel consultant Yul Duguil said the owners of Xenia are not new to the industry since they are the biggest tour operator in South Korea that have been sending tourists in the Philippines.

    Duguil said Cebu is now the number one destination in the Philippines for Koreans, “more than Boracay” because everything is within reach from the Mactan International Airport.

    “Pagbaba ng airport nandyan na (When you get off the airport, it’s all there),” he said. Duguil said it does not make sense to bring tourists to a six-hour bus ride from their hotels just to see the sights.

    It used to be Manila, he said, but it has become congested and choked with traffic.

    Duguil said most tourists especially Koreans prefer Clark because of its golf courses. The golf courses here are near the CIA, he said. But the peak season is during winter time in Korea as well as summer time because Koreans have time to take a vacation, he added.

    They usually stay for four days so everything has to be within the vicinity, he pointed out.

    Meanwhile, Duguil said Xenia has also partnered with DCC for its challenging 36-hole Sun Valley Golf Course located at the northeast corner of this freeport.

    Conspicuously absent in the hotel inauguration were CDC top brasses headed by its president and CEO Atty. Arthur P. Tugade. Only CDC marketing promotions manager Thelma C. Ocampo was present during the event.

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