Defying the pandemic’s scourge on tourism

Everybody knows how badly hit the tourism industry has been by this pandemic. 

Although countries all over the world, including ours, have been trying hard to push for domestic tourism, as the initial phase for the industry’s recovery, still there are countless quarantine-related restrictions for travelers to adhere to, prompting many, who just want to have a leisurely and easy time, to either postpone or cancel their planned holidays.

Any business-minded individual in the tourism industry would definitely be more cautious in his financial exposure at a time like this when alarming uncertainties abound and so many factors beyond one’s control come into play. One really has to have consummate positivity to continue trudging along the seemingly hazy path to success which this pandemic has laid out for all of us in the industry.

You wouldn’t think we would find in our midst, at this time, a strategic optimist who would bravely carry on with his noble ideals, marching undeterred by naysayers towards the pinnacle of success. 

Well, lo and behold, I am glad to be able to cite two entities definitely deserving of praise, unequivocal support, and utmost respect.

The imposing façade of the centrally located Radisson Blu Cebu, right next to the city’s biggest shopping mall.
The Radisson Hotel Group is one of the world’s largest hotel chains, with nine distinctive hotel brands and more than 1,400 hotels in operation and under development in 120 countries. The group’s portfolio includes Radisson Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson RED, Radisson Individuals, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson, Country Inn and Suites by Radisson, and Radisson Hotels.

In spite of the challenges brought about by the pandemic, the hotel group decided to rise above all the negativity, the fear and the feeling of hopelessness by adding 84 new hotels across the Asia Pacific region last year. This courageous growth forms part of the group’s ambitious five-year strategy to triple its portfolio in the next few years, according to Katerina Giannouka, president - Asia Pacific. Such fearless expansion covers its key markets—China, India, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

The group got even bigger in India with the signing of eight new hotels—in Mashobra Resort, Jabalpur, Prayagraj, Dehradun, Lonavala, Jaipur Malviya Nagar, Pondicherry Bay, and Katra.  

In Vietnam, Radisson now has a resort in Phan Thiet and in Van Phong Bay. 

In China, two new hotels were added in Nanjing—the Radisson Blu Hotel Nanjing South New Town and the Radisson Collection Resort Nanjing. It also partnered with Jin Jiang International and its subsidiaries, adding 72 new hotels and resorts to its roster of accommodations.

The Radisson Hotel Group will continue to banner its indomitable determination for growth this year and in the next few years. 

Here at home, just like two peas in a pod, SM Prime Holdings, Inc., which owns all the Radisson hotels in the Philippines, is just as gung-ho as the Radisson Hotel Group. Its enthusiasm in being a major player in our country’s accommodations industry has not been diluted by this pandemic. SM Prime Holdings did not put any of its expansion plans on hold.    

The spacious and modern lobby of Park Inn by Radisson North Edsa, the favorite staycation destination of leisure seekers north of the metro. (Inset) SM Hotels and Conventions Corporation executive vice president Peggy Angeles
Managed by SM Hotels and Conventions Corporation, SM Prime Holdings’ hotels in the country include the Radisson Blu in Cebu City, Park Inn by Radisson Davao, Park Inn by Radisson Clark, Park Inn by Radisson Iloilo, and Park Inn by Radisson North Edsa. 

Even with the pandemic hanging over our tourism industry’s head like the sword of Damocles, the SM group has scheduled to open very soon Park Inn by Radisson Bacolod.

SM Hotels and Conventions Corporation, led by its hardworking executive vice president Peggy Angeles, also manages the various SMX Convention Centers in the country—SMX Mall of Asia, SMX Aura, SMX Davao, SMX Bacolod, Mega Trade Hall at SM Megamall, Sky Hall in Cebu, and SMX Olongapo which is a joint venture with the local government unit, and which opened last year in spite of the pandemic. 

Not at all discouraged by quarantine restrictions on person-to-person events, the SM group is set to open SMX Clark this summer. Now, that’s positivity to the max!

The Radisson Hotel Group and the tandem of SM Prime Holdings and SM Hotels and Conventions have shown us that difficulties and misfortunes don’t have to keep us from achieving our goals. They best exemplify what author Washington Irving said, “Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune, but great minds rise above them.”


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Topics: domestic tourism , Radisson Hotel Group , COVID-19 pandemic
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