LOCAL and foreign tourists planning to book hotel reservations in Metro Cebu for the upcoming Sinulog Festival, which is just a week away, may face difficulties.
According to Alfred Reyes, president of the Hotel Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu Inc. (HRRACI), some hotels and other accommodations in the area are already fully booked.
In an interview with SunStar Cebu on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, Reyes said the booking percentage rate in most hotels in Metro Cebu now ranges from 90 to 100 percent.
“So far, [bookings] have picked up. We hope we will have a happy Sinulog [in] this particular Sinulog period,” he said.
HRRACI has a membership of 110 firms in the hospitality industry, all based in Metro Cebu.
Metro Cebu is composed of seven cities, namely Carcar, Cebu, Danao, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Naga and Talisay, and six municipalities: Compostela, Consolacion, Cordova, Liloan, Minglanilla, San Fernando. Cebu City serves as the central core of the metropolitan area.
Reyes said bookings started to increase after the New Year’s celebration or around the first week of January.
He said the first hotels and accommodations that went fully booked are those located in the downtown area in Cebu City.
He added that hotels such as Crown Regency, One Central Hotel and GV Tower are the first to achieve full occupancy, with most bookings coming from domestic guests.
Meanwhile, he said that hotels and accommodations located at the South Road Properties (SRP) in Cebu City, including Nustar, are also fully booked.
The Sinulog Grand Parade, which includes street dancing and a ritual showdown, will be held at the SRP on Sunday, Jan. 21.
Aside from businesses found in SRP, Reyes said hotels and accommodations at the Cebu Business Park and its vicinity are all booked to capacity.
These are Quest Hotel, Seda Hotel, Mandarin Plaza, Cebu Parklane International and Red Planet Hotel, among others.
“We can tell that the area (in both Ayala and SRP are) really crowded, so other guests will be distributed in other hotels,” he said.
Reyes said there are still rooms available in other hotels, including Marco Polo in Nivel Hills in Barangay Lahug, which is only 70 percent occupied.
According to Reyes, most bookings came from domestic guests, except for those hotels and accommodations in Lapu-Lapu City.
He said hotel businesses in Lapu-Lapu City already received high bookings from international guests, even not during the Sinulog Festival period.
Lapu-Lapu City is home to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
Reyes said international guests coming to Cebu are from East Asian countries such as South Korea and Taiwan.
The HRRACI head said it is difficult to attract other guests from outside those East Asian countries since there are limited direct flights to Cebu. (KJF)