ORGANIZERS of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) and the Department of Tourism (DOT) yesterday asked hotels in Metro Cebu to accommodate participants of the religious event to be held on Jan. 24 to 31, 2016.

During a meeting with representatives of 135 hotels and inns, IEC consultant Gloria Zosa discussed the possibility of discounts for participants.

“We discussed if there would be a special convention rate for the registered delegates of the IEC. We hope so and there are also concerns about senior citizen’s rate,” she said. She stressed that IEC would not force hotels to give discounts.

Zosa said the IEC expects 15,000 to 18,000 from around the country and other countries.

Those who want to participate need to register on the IEC website, where they can also get assistance in booking their hotel accommodation while in Cebu.

Accreditation

Zosa said participants can chose which type of accommodation they want while in Cebu.

Mary Grace Paulino of the DOT said hotels, inns and pension houses must be accredited with the DOT to be able to accommodate IEC delegates.

“Our website (contains) the classification criteria (for accreditation). The hotels can identify which category they belong to,” she said.

The DOT will accept accreditation applications until end of September and will release a list of accredited establishments in November this year.

Zosa said there are more than 300 registered hotels in Metro Cebu and in the cities of Carcar and Danao.

Rolette Veloso, Sarrosa Hotel sales and marketing director, said they will block all of the hotel’s 199 rooms for IEC delegates but they cannot say yet if a special rate would be offered to participants.

Hotel officials will meet again with IEC organizers on July 14.

Zosa thanked the Provincial Government, the Lapu-Lapu City Government and DOT for organizing the meeting.

The IEC, which occurs every four years, will be held in Cebu City. Pope Francis had announced he will visit the Philippines but the papal office has not confirmed yet if this would coincide with the IEC. (Rosedelyn S. Catalan, USJ-R Mass Com Intern)