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Freeman Cebu Business

Cebu restos, hotels and resorts reopen

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Amid very low occupancy rates running within 10 percent, hotels, resorts, restaurants in Metro Cebu, and in the entire province, are re-opening in full swing as Cebu is easing up restrictions.

Carlo Suarez, president of the Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC) said that about 95 percent of accommodation facilities that are members of the organization are now operating, while the rest are waiting for the required certification from the Department of Tourism (DOT).

This as businessmen, especially in the hard-hit tourism areas, are crossing their fingers that Cebu will transition to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) soon.

Likewise, at least 80 percent of HRRAC member restaurants are now opening their doors again for business, in a new normal setting.

According to Suarez, the government’s strong stance to push tourism is a good confidence booster for operators to hope for fast business rebound.

Relaxing the restrictions, as rates of cases are declining is the silver lining for the hospitality players, as businesses suffered the greatest losses in their businesses ever recorded.

From a high of 97 percent occupancy being both leisure and business destination, Cebu occupancy rate fell into an all time low of less than 10 percent, or even zero occupancy (for some) due to the pandemic.

Eager to bring back their business again, Suarez said operators are doing their very best to comply with strict requirements of health and safety, as mandates by DOT, and other concerned authorities like Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Health and Department of Labor and Employment.

As BPO companies are now slowly sending off their employees who are housed in hotel rooms during ECQ, to their respective offices or WFH arrangement, the survival of the business as of the moment is heavily dependent on frontliners, returning OFWs, and very few walk-in guests.

At least, he said business for hotels, resorts and restaurants is now slowly moving, from a stand-still in the past few months since March 2020.

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