HOTELS in Metro Cebu are experiencing brisk business as rooms are already fully booked for the Sinulog weekend.
Aside from hiring Sinulog dancers to entertain guests during their stay, hotel players have also prepared Filipino-themed buffets to showcase the best of Filipino cuisine.
“We are almost full and anticipating to be in our high 90s during that time,” said Manna Alcaraz, assistant communication manager at Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.
With regard to the activities, Alcaraz disclosed there is an ongoing Sugbusog 2016: Seafood Edition, a Cebuano Food Festival launched in time for Sinulog celebration that will run until Jan. 17. She said the hotel is highlighting seafood for the food festival and classic Cebuano favorites such as lechon belly and barbecue.
In-house guests can also avail of the hotel’s Sinulog amenities that provides scheduled transfers to the Marco Polo bleachers, face decorations, packed lunch and parade amenities.
Alcaraz said the hotel has a good mix of balikbayans, local tourists from Manila, Caucasians, Japanese and Koreans now staying at their hotel.
Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu is running on high occupancy starting Thursday next week until Sunday, according to Ann Olalo, Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu director of sales and marketing.
To evoke a festive mood, the hotel has prepared a celebration of local flavors with iconic Filipino dishes at their Feria restaurant. It has also invited Sinulog dancers to entertain guests and will hold a fireworks display on Jan. 17.
Rooms at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino are fully-booked during the Sinulog weekend, said Arnel Aparis, the hotel’s marketing communications manager. The hotel has also prepared a series of activities like a retro party and a ditch pool party during the Sinulog week.
“Most of the guests for Sinulog are mixed and short-staying. They will just be here for the Sinulog celebration,” said Aparis.
January, considered as Sinulog month, is a peak season for all accommodation establishments in Cebu. Hotel players, whether big or small, said their rooms now are booked by local tourists from all over the country and foreign tourists.
Jonathan Jay Aldeguer, chief executive officer and founder of Islands Group, in his Facebook page posted that Islands Stay Hotels’ uptown branch is already fully booked.
Quest Hotel and Conference is, likewise, full during the Sinulog Weekend. Mia Sy, public relations and marketing and communications manager of Quest Hotel, said their activities are centered on food and beverage with Filipino culinary journeys from Jan. 10 to Jan. 23 during lunch and dinner time.
Rooms at Best Western Lex Cebu are also fully-booked for next weekend. The hotel, according to general manager Bernard Tanchan, will prepare a Filipino-themed dinner buffet for the weekend. They will also hand out Sinulog goodies for their guests to use when they join the parade.
Cebu Grand Hotel general manger Carlo Suarez also reported full occupancy during the Sinulog weekend, mostly local tourists from Manila. “We have frequent travel individuals, families and group of friends who made earlier bookings for Sinulog,” he said.
Sinulog street dancers dancing at the lobby, free face painting and foot massages will be offered to the guests staying at Cebu City Marriott Hotel, said Nico Ivan Velasquez, the hotel’s public relations officer.
Kulas Ideas and Creations Inc., (Kulas) will also be selling Sinulog shirts at the hotel’s lobby, while the Rise Above Foundation will sell bags made of recycled materials.
“We are already full for Sinulog day,” said Velasquez.
Earlier, Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 announced that it expects a higher influx of tourists this month because aside from the annual Sinulog celebration, Cebu will also host the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC), with official delegates estimated at 15,000 excluding religious groups and individuals from other parts of the country who will come to attend or check what an IEC is like.
“It will be more challenging (tourism industry). We will have more arrivals this year,” said DOT 7 Rowena Montecillo.