Hospitality industry bracing for ‘tourist surge’ this year
MCIA NEW TERMINAL set TO OPEN
Prospects are high for the hospitality industry this year especially with the opening of the new terminal of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA).
This is why the Hotel, Resort, Restaurant Association of Cebu Inc. (HRRAC) is looking to strengthen partnerships with companies involved in the industry together with the government.
“We are revamping the whole association. Before, when you say HRRAC, what is it? Now, we want to represent Cebu and the members. We want to have more members. And we will continue our partnerships and the projects of the DOT (Department of Tourism) we are supporting,” said HRRAC President Carlo Suarez.
The P17.5 billion Terminal 2 of the MCIA is expected to open by June.
It is expected to cater to 4.5 million to 6 million passengers a year.
With this influx of tourist, DOT-7 Regional Director Shalimar Tamano earlier told Cebu Daily News that Cebu needs more hotel rooms to cater to more tourists.
He pointed out that the new terminal as well as the new Panglao International Airport in Bohol will be “game changers” in the tourism industry for Central Visayas.
This was acknowledged by Suarez.
“With this influx of direct flights all over Asia, direct flights from the Middle East, Cebu right now needs more rooms. Tourists will not only double but triple,” Suarez said.
“There will be more hotels and resorts. Small and medium businesses will really prosper, souvenir shops, restaurants. Many hotels are coming up. We are looking forward to them. We welcome it for Cebu,” he added.
For his part, HRRAC Vice President for Hotels Ed Tongco said the past year had been strong for the hospitality sector.
He said they recorded strong occupancy rates in 2017, and even in the first two months of 2018, the hotels and resorts had been doing well.
Like Suarez, he also highlighted the need for the industry to improve on their services and also to have additional rooms.
“There are a lot of hotels opening soon and a lot of local owners are starting to focus on adding more rooms. I have a strong feeling the industry will continue to grow,” Tongco said.
The HRRAC had their general membership meeting earlier this month where they talked about some of their thrusts for 2018.
Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña attended the meeting and led the oath-taking of the HRRAC officers as well as their new members.
In a speech, the mayor urged the HRRAC members to keep abreast with the standards globally.
“If we’re going to move ahead, we have to learn to be sensitive. The moment there are changes in the global scene, you have to be the first to adjust.
For me, being number one is very important. Not only in the hotel industry but for me, for almost everything in life,” he said.
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