DOT chief: Not all 4 or 5-star rated hotels open for staycation
This file photo shows a hotel room.
Pixabay/David Lee

DOT chief: Not all 4 or 5-star rated hotels open for staycation

Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - January 6, 2021 - 10:01pm

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED Jan. 7, 2021; 1:51 a.m.)—Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on Tuesday corrected the misperception that all four or five-star rated accommodation establishments can operate as staycation hotels.

“For such hotel to accept guests for leisure purposes, it has to apply for a Certificate of Authority to Operate as Staycation (CAOS) hotel. With the authority is the responsibility to strictly adhere to the minimum health and safety guidelines,” Puyat said.

“One has to pass the rigid inspection to ascertain that measures and systems are put in place and diligently practiced on a daily basis. It cannot, above all things, concurrently operate as a quarantine facility,” she added.

The DOT chief made the reiteration after City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati City was implicated in the death of 23-year-old flight attendant Christine Angelica Dacera.

The agency on Tuesday issued a show cause order against the Makati hotel, asking it to explain why its accreditation should not be revoked.

CGGH, a four-star hotel, is listed as a quarantine hotel and should not operate as a staycation hotel or is not allowed to concurrently accept guests for leisure purposes. However, reports said that the death of Dacera occurred after a New Year’s Eve party in one of its hotel rooms.

Meanwhile, the DOT stressed that as of January 5, there are only 15 accredited AEs in Metro Manila that operate as staycation hotels.

These are: Grand Hyatt Hotel, Makati Shangri-La Hotel, Okada Manila Hotel, Shangri-La at the Fort, Nobu Hotel, Joy Nostalg Hotel and Suites Manila, EDSA Shangri-La Manila, Solaire Resort, Hyatt Regency City of Dreams, Nuwa Hotel City of Dreams, The Peninsula Manila, Aruga by Rockwell, Sheraton Manila Hotel, Hilton Manila and Hotel Okura Manila.

Other AEs not included in the roster are banned from accepting guests for leisure purposes or are not open at this time.

Puyat warned AEs without CAOS and tour operators and other entities “that continue to post invitations or make false, deceptive and misleading claims or statements for the purpose of soliciting business from clients”  that they may face violations.

“These non-staycation enterprises have been using social media to carry its ads,” the DOT said.

The DOT advised the public to check the status of the establishment before booking. The AEs operating as quarantine facilities are listed in the website of the Bureau of Quarantine.

On the other hand, AEs and new enterprises that are interested to apply for accreditation can register via the DOT’s online accreditation system can be accessed through Accreditation Portal (https://accreditation.tourism.gov.ph/).

Puyat said that with the threats posed by the new coronavirus variant, the DOT “will be on heightened alert and will have zero tolerance for even the slightest violation of health protocols.”

“Lives are on the line and our economic recovery depends on everybody being responsible. Let us all perform our duties well. Each has an important role to play in managing this crisis,” she said.

DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM NEW NORMAL STAYCATION
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: January 22, 2021 - 7:36pm

Find the latest travel and tourism news from around the world amid the coronavirus pandemic. Main image by AFP/Romeo Gacad

January 22, 2021 - 7:36pm

Denmark is suspending flights from the UAE for five days over suspicions that virus tests and checks are not rigorous enough, the Nordic nation's transport minister says. 

All air passengers arriving in Denmark need to show a negative virus test from the previous 24 hours, but Transport Minister Benny Engelbrecht said Danish authorities want to be sure there were no botched screenings or tests that had been bought in Dubai.

"All commercial flights from the United Arab Emirates are cancelled for five days," he says in a statement, adding that it would give officials time "to ensure that the required negative test is a true screening that has been carried out correctly". — AFP

January 18, 2021 - 11:05am

Australia's international borders are unlikely to open to travelers this year despite the rollout of coronavirus vaccines, a top health official said Monday.

Health department secretary Brendan Murphy, a key adviser in Australia's virus response, said free-flowing travel to and from the country was not expected to resume in 2021.

"I think that we'll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions," he told public broadcaster ABC.

"Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don't know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus. 

"And it's likely that quarantine will continue for some time." — AFP

January 18, 2021 - 7:14am

La Trinidad town has cancelled its Strawberry Festival, which was scheduled for March this year.

La Trinidad Vice Mayor Roderick Awingan said that the Strawberry Festival Executive Committee on January 12, through a unanimous vote, cancelled the much-awaited festival that is usually held every first week of March.

Last year, the festival that features the town’s luscious red fruit product farmed in its vast valley plantations, was also cancelled.

Though an indigenous ritual known as  "Panudsuran", where ancestors’ spirits are called and invoked to cleanse the community, was held.  A mass will also be offered where limited participants are invited.

The executive committee is composed of Mayor Romeo Salda as chairman; Vice Mayor Awingan as co-chair; and members of the Sangguniang Bayan and Municipal Tourism Officer Valred Olsim as members. — The STAR/Artemio Dumlao

January 16, 2021 - 12:52pm

Emirates suspends flights to Australia's three largest cities as the country further restricts international arrivals over fears of new virus strains.

The Dubai-based carrier was one of the last to maintain routes into and out of the country's east coast throughout most of the pandemic but on Friday evening told travellers a handful of planned flights next week would be the last.

"Due to operational reasons, Emirates flights to/from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne will be suspended until further notice," Emirates says on its website. — AFP

January 15, 2021 - 6:13pm

The Philippines includes United Arab Emirates and Hungary in list of countries affected by travel restrictions, according to Malacañang.

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