Investment Destinations Series: Bacolod (Part 2 of 3)

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Bacolod City in Negros Occidental is one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines. The "City of Smiles" is famous for its festivals (MassKara Festival held every 3rd week of October), historical monuments, ancestral houses, and churches, and food, particularly Chicken Inasal, Napoleones, Pinasugbo, and other delicacies. Bacolod is also dubbed as the "Sugar City in the Philippines" because it is among the largest sources of sugarcane, an important agricultural product of the country. 

Aside from being a tourist hub and agricultural city, Bacolod is also one of the next-wave BPO cities on the rise, similar to last week's featured investment destination, Cebu. It is ranked as the 94th emerging BPO destination in the world by Tholons and the top 3 next-wave city in the Philippines. Bacolod is home to several operating PEZA IT parks and centers including Central IT District Park, One Sanparq Square IT Park, and East Block IT Park, which is part of the Villa Angela Business District.

Expanding local economy with BPO
With a fast-growing BPO industry, Bacolod City's local economy has expanded in the last few years. Poverty has declined by 24.3% since 2008, mainly due to the growing BPO industry which has provided several jobs in the city. Teletech, Teleperformance, Convergys, and Transcom are among the largest global outsourcing and offshoring companies in the city who opened sites in Bacolod office spaces to benefit from the talented and skilled population and low operational costs in the area (as of 2013, average office rental rates is only at Php 400- Php 450 per sqm for prime spaces). The BPO industry alone has created over 12,000 jobs in 2011, which is expected to reach 16,000 by 2016.

The rising sector has also increased tourists arrivals into the city, which went up by 17.98% in 2012, increasing demand in retail and creating more opportunities for hotels and leisure by providing exposure to the city's hidden destinations.

Opportunities in Bacolod real estate
With an improved Tholons ranking and a status of being the "Center of Excellence", Bacolod is also attracting other foreign and local investors. Recently, Dallas-based firm Everest Group, which is currently in the process of searching for its office space location in the country, has expressed interest in investing in Bacolod's booming call center industry for its business expansion. For local firms, the Philippines' largest conglomerate, SM Group, will be opening a hotel in Bacolod to take advantage of the growing MICE - meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions - and expanding tourism market in the area.

Ayala Corporation, another major Filipino conglomerate, has also reiterated its interests in bringing in more investments to Negros Occidental, particularly in pursuing a 215-hectare development project in Ayala Land North Point and a civic center in the 7.7-hectare government prime property in Bacolod City. 

If you are interested to know more about Bacolod City's office, residential, retail, and hotels and leisure sector, talk to me today