CEBU CITY, Philippines – In an effort to boost domestic tourism, hotel and resort owners in Cebu will be launching a month-long virtual sale to entice future visitors.
Alfred Reyes, president of the Hotel Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC), announced they are set to roll out this March 21, 2021 an online sale dubbed I Love Cebu.
In an interview with CDN Digital, Reyes said the initiative was meant, among others, to bring back consumer and traveler’s confidence.
“This is led by HRRAC, some members of the private sector and together with the help of DOT (Department of Tourism) and the LGUs (local government units),” said Reyes.
Reyes said the sale will span up to one month, with purchases made within this period valid up to one year.
“It’s a baby step in bringing back the confidence of the consumers by offering good prices and rates,” he added.
The travel and tourism industries are among the hardest hit by the economic crisis spawned by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
While they expressed renewed hopes with the recent rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Cebu and easing of travel restrictions, Reyes said ‘a lot of work’ needs to be done for hoteliers and resort-owners as they make progress on their journey towards recovery.
For one, occupancy rates in hotels and other leisure establishments in Cebu remained low, averaging between five to 10 percent on the weekdays, and 30 to 50 percent on the weekends.
“You have seven days in a week, (but) the two days running a 50 percent occupancy rate is not enough to cover the losses (incurred) on Monday to Thursdays,” Reyes explained.
The National Economic and Development Authority in Central Visayas (NEDA-7) previously estimated that the region, where Cebu belonged, lost the opportunity to earn around US$700 million from foreign arrivals during the first semester of 2020.