THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) clarified Wednesday the prevailing hotel rates in Cebu as it hosts the Third Senior Officials Meeting (SOM3) and other related meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) beginning this week.
Apec National Organizing Committee (NOC) has released a statement on the hotel rates in Cebu for the information of Apec delegates, said Foreign Affairs spokesperson Charles Jose in a media briefing in Malacañang.
He said Apec NOC director general Marciano Paynor Jr. issued a statement, saying that one month before every Apec meeting, delegates are already issued a copy of the administrative circular that contains the names of accredited hotels and their respective rates.
Jose said the Department of Tourism accredits the hotels but it is the Apec NOC that negotiates with the hotels on special rates, and requests that Apec delegates be given priority.
He said some hotels have caught the attention of the media because they have increased their rates.
"Although we negotiated that they lower the rates for Apec delegates months before the event, we are also aware that their rate setting is market-driven and is aligned with rates charged by hotels that are part of their global networks," Jose explained.
"In fact, these hotels are mostly fully booked as of this moment. Moreover, even if the Apec NOC laid out the accredited hotels for delegates, majority will stay in other hotels, like what happened in SOM-II in Boracay," he added.
For SOM-III, the rates of hotel rooms in the list of accredited hotels start at P2,400 per night, Jose said, noting that the delegates themselves choose where to stay, while the NOC only gives them options.
"In short, there are accredited hotels but the delegates are free to stay in hotels other than those accredited," he said.
Asked if the government is preventing hotels from charging very high rates, Jose said if the accredited hotels’ rates are too high for the delegates, they are free to choose hotels that charge lower rates, even if these are not accredited. (SDR/Sunnex)