Capitol leaders to discuss rates with hoteliers

OFFICIALS from the Province will continue to meet with leaders of the hospitality sector today, although national organizers of the APEC meetings in Cebu already found the increase in hotel rates acceptable.

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III will meet with officers of the Hotels, Restaurants and Resorts Association in Cebu at 2 p.m., said Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale.

“(We fear that) mo-avoid niining mga (tourists will avoid these) high-end hotels. But as far as the APEC is concerned, that is the call of the organizers and we respect that,” she told reporters.

In a statement last Tuesday, Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr., director general of the National Organizing Council (NOC), said he has verified information on accredited hotels for the Senior Officials’ Meetings scheduled in Cebu and found that the increased rates are “market-driven.”

These are also “aligned with rates charged by hotels that are part of their global networks,” Paynor said in his statement, issued in response to a complaint that some hotels would raise their rates by as much as 120 percent.

The complaint surfaced when Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Laura del Rosario appealed to the hotel managers and the Department of Tourism last Friday to do something about the increase.

Del Rosario serves as committee chairperson for the Senior Officials Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

She has pointed out that in some of the accredited hotels, room rates will go up from P4,530-P5,800 (about US$98 to $126) in early August, to P11,000-P13,800 (about $239 to $300) when the APEC meetings start.

Magpale said that the Capitol respects the NOC’s statement but Governor Davide will go ahead with the meeting.

“Regarding the hoteliers, it will push through. Rates will be the main topic,” said Provincial Information Officer Ethel Natera in a text message to Sun.Star Cebu.

Natera said it will be a closed-door meeting.
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