A DAY before the three-day highlights of the 50th Dinagyang Festival, hotels in Iloilo City have no more rooms left for guests wanting to join the fiesta, according to the Iloilo Business Club.
“We are lacking of rooms because we have been checking after some visitors sought help from us,” said IBC Executive Director Lea Lara, also a member of the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc.
There are currently around 3,200 hotels rooms in the city. Each room could accommodate varying number of guests, two-five persons, said Lara on January 25.
The Dinagyang highlights are slated from January 26 to 28.
However, due to the increase in the number of street parties this year, Lara said that around 1.5 to 1.8 million visitors are expected to arrive and witness the festival.
Lara said the festival was a “big investment” for the business establishments, as room rates usually increase up to 40 percent from its regular rates.
But she mentioned that business establishments were mostly offering “packaged rates” particularly for the highlights of the festival.
To address the shortage in room vacancies, Lara said visitors were encouraged to stay with their relatives in the city.
She said they were also recommended to stay in inns, lodging and pension houses, as long as they were accredited by the Department of Tourism-Western Visayas.
Meanwhile, Lara assisted some delegates of the Ruapotaka Marae from Auckland, New Zealand, in a courtesy call with Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. on January 25.
The Ruapotaka Marae hosted the 2017 Dinagyang Festival Champion Tribu Salognon in New Zealand last November 2017. They are in Iloilo for a “cultural exchange” and experience the Ilonggo culture through Dinagyang Festival.
They will be performing at the Dinagyang’s International Cultural Show on January 26 in a mall in the city. (PNA)