PREPARATIONS by big hotels and resorts in Cebu are in full swing for the holding of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit in 2015, a top official from the Hotel Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC) said yesterday.
HRRAC president Cenelyn Manguilimotan said they expect close to 5,000 delegates to arrive in Cebu from August to October next year to attend Apec’s four big ministerial meetings in Cebu.
She said the Apec National Organizing Committee (NOC) already conducted the inspection and assessment of two resorts and five big city hotels where the meetings will be held and delegates billeted.
According to tentative information relayed to them, Cebu will host one of the senior officials’ meetings (SOMs) and “sectoral ministerial” meetings in transportation, finance and small and medium enterprises, Manguilimotan said.
“In so far as the Apec 2015 is concerned, the hotels and resorts are prepared to host the delegates and the summit. As for the support infrastructure, we are working on it,” said Manguilimotan, who is also the general manager of Cebu Parklane International Hotel.
HRRAC is part of the Apec Cebu Organizing Committee (COC) formed by Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III to act as local counterpart of the Apec NOC.
On top of preparing the accommodation and event venues, Manguilimotan said Apec NOC also looked into Cebu’s readiness on security and support facilities such as hospitals, emergency response, and evacuation plans should there be natural calamities.
The resorts and hotels identified include the Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, Movenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu, Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, Cebu City Marriott Hotel, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino and Cebu Parklane International Hotel.
These hotels, according to Manguilimotan, will block off their bookings next year starting mid of August until October to pave the way for the delegates’ accommodation and meetings.
The Apec event will bring together 21 world leaders, who will discuss a range of issues with the aim of boosting political and economic ties. Apec member-economies account for over half of the world’s economic output.
While the Apec events will drive spending in hotel, food and beverage, incidentals and shopping Manguilimotan underscored that Cebuanos should also see it as an opportunity to market Cebu as a tourism and investment destination.
“The challenge now is how to encourage these 21 economies to come back after the Apec event,” she said.
Manguilimotan believes coming up with a branding campaign is necessary.
“Cebu never had an identity in terms of tourism. So let’s grab this chance to come up with an effective and sustainable marketing material which we can showcase not only during Apec Summit,” she said. “It isn’t too late but we need to work double time.”