PH hotels, resorts ‘ready to compete globally’

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Sunday, August 17, 2014


A TEAM of international experts reported that Philippine hotels and resorts in key island destinations are ready to compete in the global marketplace.

Initial findings of 10 experts from the International Accommodation Assessors (IAAs) who visited the country last month said the accommodation sector, including small players, have “very high standards” in maintaining the Filipino brand of hospitality, one of the country’s competitive advantages.

“The warmth of welcome for guests in all types of accommodation is almost unique among international destinations. There is a real potential for the Philippine tourism industry. Some hotels and resorts need to invest to improve, but the new rating system can help identify where to focus that investment,” the report said.

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The press statement said the team was joined by the Department of Tourism (DOT) in reviewing the accommodation standards of 144 hotels and resorts in the country’s main island destinations – Cebu, Bohol, Davao and Palawan.

The new standards under the Hotel and Resorts Quality Assurance and Accreditation System aim to assist visitors in terms of the quality, service and comfort provided by accommodation businesses of all sizes and types in the Philippines.

The DOT tapped international assessors to ensure that the review is based on accepted international standards. It said the international assessment is one of the outputs identified in the $7.1-million assistance funded by the Government of Canada and administered by the Asian Development Bank aimed at improving competitiveness in the tourism sector, in time for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) integration.

Hotel owners and senior managers in all the properties visited welcomed the new set of standards as they see it as a significant improvement on the old standards introduced in 1992, the DOT said.

In earlier interviews, Cenelyn Manguilimotan, president of Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC) said that accommodation industry in Cebu has been constantly upgrading its services and facilities to align with international standards and in anticipation of a bigger tourism market with the Asean integration.

She welcomed the findings saying these will back her pronouncements that the Cebu accommodation sector is prepared for the integration as well as to more international events, such as that of Aoec.

“I have been saying that we are ready. At least now the assessors have confirmed my claim,” she said in a text message.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 18, 2014.

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