Hotels in Cebu 'still struggling' to hike occupancy

THE hard times for the hospitality industry in Cebu may not be over just yet even as restrictions on local tourism have been eased.

The Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC) said hotels continue to struggle with high operational costs and low occupancy rate amid the travel downturn induced by the coronavirus pandemic.

Hotels in Cebu have yet to see their occupancy pick up this December, traditionally a busy month for staycations among families.

The group says the fear of the pandemic may have dampened the Christmas spirit of consumers.

HRACC president Carlo Suarez said that although they remain optimistic, hotel occupancy in Cebu during the weekdays remains thin, considering the absence of foreign tourists. The usual 80 to 90 percent occupancy seen before during weekends is also now a challenge for hotels to achieve.

“People are still torn between going to the hotels for the holidays or staying at home to celebrate. There is still hesitation on their part,” he said.

Suarez said hotels and resorts are redoubling their efforts when it comes to their promos and sales to entice families to spend the holidays outside of their homes.

He assured that hotels and resorts implement the highest standards in terms of health protocols under the new normal.

HRRAC released a 12-point Covid-19 checklist which followed the guidelines and protocols of the Department of Health, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Tourism and Project Balik Buhay.

According to the HRRAC checklist, upon entry hotel or resort guests have a security and thermal check; register for contact tracing; wear full face shield and mask; take alcohol and hand sanitizers; and pass through disinfectant floor mats.

Social distancing measures should also be followed with floor markings and at least six feet apart.

A waiting or isolation area should also be provided.

Hygiene guide materials should be present to keep guests informed.

Frequent sanitation and disinfection should be followed, and there should be proper segregation of waste and garbage disposal within the hotel facilities.

Proper ventilation and airflow should be ensured, and employees should be provided with meals, rest areas and shuttle services.

A health officer, crisis management team and sustainable compliance audit should be in place as well, HRRAC said.

Suarez said their association members have been encouraged to post an infographic of these guidelines so they would be followed. (JOB)


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