Hotels, restos cash in on Sinulog visitors

By: Aileen Garcia-Yap January 20,2014 - 02:43 PM

Local businesses especially the restaurants and hotels are reaping much benefits from the visitors who come to Cebu for the Sinulog.

Most pension houses and hotel accommodations were already fully booked as early as August, especially those along the route for street dancing.

Hotels usually apply surcharges ranging from P500 to a thousand depending on when the guest confirmed their reservations, said Hotel Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu president Cenelyn Manguilimotan.

“There are some who also increase their rates from 20 to 30 percent,” she said.

Shanna Lopez, general manager of the 78-room Pacific Pensionne, said they get reservations last August, mostly from those who have stayed with them in the past celebrations.

The pension house is along Osmeña Boulevard, right where everything is happening today, making it the more preferred place to stay.

While new hotels have opened in recent years, the number of tourists also grew which is why some hotels increase their rates, said Sinulog Foundation, Inc. executive director Ricky Ballesteros.

As of December 15, major hotels in Cebu already required their guests to pay in full their reservations, as a guarantee, because the demand was so high that the hotels had to bump customers off to neighboring hotels.

“In our case (Cebu Parklane International Hotel), we were 40 percent overbooked, so we call our colleagues in the industry if they still have available rooms to accommodate more bookings,” said Manguilimotan.

“That’s always the case every Sinulog, we have shortage of rooms but that’s a happy problem,” she said.

Restaurants, coffeeshops, malls and many other retail establishments are also full, said Philippine Retailers Association Cebu Chapter chairman Melanie Ng.

Ng, who runs Lakwatsa Restobar, said the devotion for the Sto. Niño has been made more intense this year because of the recent calamities.

“People now go to church and attend the novena then goes to the malls to eat with their family. People feel more thankful, and are expressing that, this Sinulog,” she said.

Average foot traffic in SM City Cebu has already reached over 250,000 daily, a significant surge from their usual daily traffic, said SM senior public relations manager RJ Leduna.

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