DOT hopeful for Makati Shangri-La Hotelâs recovery as hotel announces temporary closure
This October 2020 photo shows the facade of Makati Shangri-La Hotel.
Makati Shangri-La, Manila/Facebook

DOT hopeful for Makati Shangri-La Hotel’s recovery as hotel announces temporary closure

Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - January 20, 2021 - 7:09pm


MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED 11:18 p.m.) — The Department of Tourism on Wednesday said it is saddened by the news that the luxury accommodation establishment Makati Shangri-La Hotel is temporarily shutting down due to the financial impact brought by the pandemic.

The biggest hotel of the Shangri-La group is closing its doors starting February 1, according to its vice president for operations John Rice.

In a letter to the Philippine Hotel Owners Association, Rice attributed the closure to “low business levels.”

“Owing to continued low business levels and having considered all viable options over weeks of consideration and deliberation, we unfortunately must now make the extremely difficult decision to reorganize our workforce and operations in the Philippines as we continue to navigate an uncertain business environment,” Shangri-La Group also said in a statement.

“As part of the reorganization exercise, we will sadly be parting ways with a number of colleagues and we will be temporarily closing Makati Shangri-La Manila,” it added.

Shangri-La recalled its mitigation efforts throughout the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

It said that the hotel group’s priority was to preserve as many jobs as possible for its teams.

Among the mitigation efforts include multiple cost management initiatives have been implemented including salary reductions at management level, implementing shorter work weeks, hiring freeze and cuts in non-essential spending.

The hotel said it has also provided assistance for its rank and file to help them through these challenging times for the past ten months.

However, its efforts were not enough to combat the financial pressure during the prolonged recovery timeline.

Despite this, the hotel said it will provide affected colleagues fair compensation package. It will also extend their healthcare coverage and grocery support until December 2021 for their peace of mind.

Makati Shangri-La was among the first accommodation establishments granted Certification of Authority to Operate for Staycation by the DOT.

It started accepting guests for leisure purposes in October after seven months of closure.

Both the DOT and the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association are still hopeful for the Makati Shangri-La’s return.

 “The hotel has been a pillar in the tourism industry in the Philippines, and has contributed to positioning the country in the region and around the globe,” the tourism department said.   

“Nevertheless, we are hopeful that Makati Shangri-la Hotel will soon reopen its doors to international and domestic clients,” it added.

“We wish them the best to recover as soon as possible,” HSMA said.

The DOT, for its part, vowed to lead the country's tourism industry recovery. It said it will continue to assist its tourism stakeholders thru the Bayanihan 2 programs under the Department of Labor and Employment, and Small Business Corporation. 

As of January 7, the tourism said the DOT-DOLE financial assistance program has benefited a total of 77,724 tourism workers with total disbursement
of P3.9 million.

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