While Cebu City hotels’ occupancy drops, those on Mactan are full booked

By: Futch Anthony Inso - Correspondent/CDN Digital | January 10,2020 - 08:56 PM

ISLAND NIGHT LIFE: Lapu-Lapu City and the Marcelo Fernan Bridge at night from across the Mactan Channel in this photo taken on Feb. 12, 2017. |CDN File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Compared to hotels in Cebu City that experienced a decrease in their occupancy rate, hotels and resorts in Lapu-lapu City are already at 100 percent in terms of occupancy over a week before the Sinulog 2020 celebration.

Eduard Mendez, Lapu-lapu City Tourism Officer, told CDN Digital on Friday, January 10, that at present, tourists would already have a hard time looking for hotel rooms in the city, which is located on Mactan Island, because they are now fully booked.

Earlier, the Hotel, Resorts and Restaurants Association in Cebu Inc. (HRRACI) announced that online accommodation apps such as Airbnb have greatly affected the hotel occupancy in the province.

HRRACI reported a 50- to 60-percent occupancy rate in hotels in Cebu despite the influx of tourists that they are expecting due to the Sinulog Festival 2020 celebration on January 19, 2020.

In previous years, hotels in Cebu City were fully booked months before the Sinulog Festival, which is held during the third week of January, culminating in a grand mardi gras-like parade on the third Sunday of the month.

“Their concerns are legitimate. But maybe the situation here in Lapu-lapu City is different from that in Cebu City,” Mendez said.

Mendez suggested to the hotel operators to offer packages that are acceptable to tourists.

Gelena Dimpas, chief tourism operations officer of the Department of Tourism in Central Visayas (DOT-7), also said that they are now coordinating with other agencies for their next move, especially after Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella urged them to conduct an investigation into Airbnb’s effect on the hotels in the city.

Labella has, however, said that the Cebu City hotels’ high room rates, specially during the Sinulog Festival, should also be looked into.

“We will be collecting data and informations regarding this issue,” Dimpas said./elb

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