Tourism chief tells âStaycation hotelsâ: Prioritize, health, safety of guests, employees
In this Oct. 14, 2020 photo, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat undergoes temperature check in a staycation hotel.

Tourism chief tells ‘Staycation hotels’: Prioritize, health, safety of guests, employees

Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - October 15, 2020 - 8:28pm

MANILA, Philippines — Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on Wednesday reminded “staycation hotels” to follow the health guidelines and protocols set by the Department of Tourism as guests are anticipated to go on staycation for leisure purposes to take a break from months of quarantine.

Staycation refers to leisure activities involving a minimum of an overnight stay in an accommodation establishment that is not utilized as a mandatory COVID-19 quarantine facility. 

"While we all long for a little bit of fun with the family, it is the responsibility of hotel operators to make sure that the health and safety of their guests and employees are not compromised,” Puyat said.

As of Tuesday, at least 10 star-rated hotels have secured the DOT’s certificate of authority to operate for staycation.

These include Grand Hyatt, Makati Shangri-La, Okada, Shangri-La at the Fort, Nobu Hotel COD, Joy Nostalg Hotel and Suites, EDSA Shangri-La, Solaire, Hyatt Regency COD and Nuwa COD.

There are 28 DOT star-rated hotels in Metro Manila with 16 of which five-star and 12 four-star. 

Puyat personally visited Grand Hyatt Hotel in Bonifacio Global City to check the health measures implemented in the hotel.  

Its general manager Gottfried Bogensperger assured the public that their hotel is adhering to the health protocols.

"We are moving forward. Safety is the most important part of staycation. We want to ensure that our guests are feeling absolutely safe when they come here,"  Bogensperger said.

Earlier, the DOT amended its guidelines for staycation hotels and included those in general community quarantine (GCQ) areas outside Metro Manila with at least a three-star rating from the DOT.  

“To ensure that the staycation quality standards for health and safety protocols are in place, only hotels outside of the National Capital Region (NCR) with at least a three-star rating from the DOT can accept guests for staycation while hotels in Metro Manila should at least be four-star,” Puyat said.

“Those with underlying medical conditions, or are currently pregnant will not be permitted to enter the accommodation establishment,” she added.

The DOT released the Amended Guidelines for Staycations Under GCQ or the Administrative Order 2020-006-a last month.

Under this directive, guests are required to present a negative result from a rapid antigen test conducted on the same day of check-in.

The tourism agency ordered establishments to follow contactless and cashless transactions for taking bookings and payment to promote minimal physical contact between staff and guests.

Accredited establishments are also mandated to develop staycation packages that are appropriate for the present market demands and conditions.  

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