^
More hotel closures inevitable
HRRAC vice president Alfred Reyes warned that Cebu could see some hotels folding up in the next few months if local government units (LGUs) continue to make travel more complicated than it already is.
File

More hotel closures inevitable

Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - January 25, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu hospitality sector is bracing for possible closure of more hotels, following the announcement of Makati Shangri-La to temporarily close by February 1, 2021.

Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC) vice president Alfred Reyes warned that Cebu could see some hotels folding up in the next few months if local government units (LGUs) continue to make travel more complicated than it already is.

According to Reyes, Makati Shangri-La, a pillar in the country’s hospitality sector lost its grip in business as travelers postponed or cancelled their business or leisure trips not only due to the threats of COVID-19, but also shying away from hassles of varying health protocols.

While he is for the safety of travelers, what the industry cannot fathom is the varying requirements imposed by each local government unit (LGU). Simply, the absence of standardized travel health protocols.

“Makati Shangri-La’s closure is a sign that the industry is bleeding. Manila even has more opened flights [than Cebu],” said Reyes adding that foreign guests waning, the more that local government should do it’s very best to spur domestic travel.

However, what is happening now is that even local tourists are discouraged to travel due to daunting paperworks, and expenses just to comply with travel requisites.

“The industry is dying already,” Reyes reiterated calling and pleading to LGU captains once again to ease border control domestically.

“Expect more hotels to close [in Cebu],” he warned.

He said the industry’s request is magnified in order to save thousands of jobs relying solely on the health of hospitality/tourism sector.

At present, Cebu hospitality industry can only get a much as 20 percent occupancy rate. Most hotels are suffering from low single-digit occupancy.

 Reyes, who is the vice president and general manager for Bai Hotel, suggested that if only the travel requirements be reduced to what is really necessary like swab test and antigen, it would make travel easier.

In a letter addressed to Philippine Hotel Owners Association president Arthur Lopez, Shangri-La Group vice president for operations John Rice said despite the company’s best efforts, the prolonged recovery timeline has resulted in increasing financial pressure on its operations in the Philippines.

 “Owing to continued low business levels and having considered all viable options over weeks of consideration, we decided to reorganize our workforce and operations in the Philippines as we continue to navigate an uncertain business environment,” Rice said

“We look forward to reopening the property when business conditions have improved,” Rice said.

“The hotel (Makati Shangri-La) has been a pillar in the tourism industry and has contributed to positioning the country in the region and around the globe. We are hopeful that Makati Shangri-La will soon reopen its doors to international and domestic clients,” commented Department of Tourism (DOT) secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

LGU
Philstar
  • Latest
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with