Santos Knight Frank expects to see lots of real estate activities in the hotel sector, such as buying, selling, financing, valuation, and even rebranding.

This is according to Rick Santos, chairman and CEO of Santos Knight Frank, in a webinar called “Hotel Industry: Through and Beyond COVID-19,” which it recently organized with the British Chamber of Commerce Philippines.

“COVID-19 has created a ‘Double Black Swan’ global event with tremendous impact on the Philippine tourism and hospitality sector,” said Santos, referring to the phenomenon that means “unexpected events of large magnitude and consequence.”

“Agility is crucial for hotel companies during these volatile times,” he said. “We recommend hotel owners to explore bank and non-bank real estate financing that would help their businesses cope in this environment. This will certainly be a period of creativity and new ideas.”

Santos Knight Frank is the first and largest fully integrated real estate services company in the Philippines. Founded by Rick Santos in 1994, he has grown the business to 11 market-leading service lines and over 1,400 professionals across the country.

Santos Knight Frank is responsible for more than 4 million sqm of office space transactions, including the largest office leasing deal in Philippine real estate history, and today manages 20 million sqm of property. The firm is also the leading trusted advisor to the hotel sector in the Philippines.

“The tourism and hospitality industry is an important engine of the Philippine economy, accounting for nearly 13 percent of the country’s GDP last year. It is important for the government and private sector to work together to overcome this global crisis,” Santos said.

Data provided by the real-estate company showed there were 7,078 hotel rooms in the pipeline for the period 2020 to 2023. Post-COVID-19, there are only 6,845 rooms in the pipeline from 2020 to 2024. This indicated a delay in construction and possible rethinking of investments in the hotel industry.