Capitol not giving up on talks with hotels on rates

By: Victor Anthony V. Silva August 13,2015 - 12:53 AM

THE provincial government isn’t giving up on  efforts to negotiate for lower hotel rates for delegates of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in Cebu.

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III said he will meet with representatives of the Hotel, Resort, and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC) to plead with  hotel owners to lower their rates in time for the APEC meetings which start on Aug. 22.

Davide said he would  also meet with traffic agencies for updates on rerouting schemes.

Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, co-chairperson of the Provincial Tourism Council, said that while they abide by the NOC’s decision, she is concerned that delegates from APEC 21 member economies, may veer away from high-end hotels in Cebu due to expensive rates.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr., APEC 2015 director general, said the NOC noted the “significant increase” in  Cebu hotel rates and  verified that the rate-setting  is “market-driven” and “aligned with rates charged by hotels that are part of their global networks.”

Capitol officials said they cannot impose price changes on hotel accommodations and can only plead to them to be reasonable.

The APEC Cebu Organizing Committee, with Lito Maderazo as overall coordinator, held an emergency meeting last Friday with representatives of five hotels designated as APEC venues.   Hotel managers justified their increased hotel rates.

Last week, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Laura del Rosario said she has received several complaints from delegates regarding that rates in venue hotels went up as much as 120 percent of published rates.  She warned that  Cebu’s reputation as a tourist destination may suffer if nothing is done about it.

High end

Ambassador Paynor said the NOC issued a memorandum to  delegates,  giving them a wide variety of options.

Aside from nine accredited hotels, there are more than 30 others they can opt to stay in during their schedules in Cebu.

Starting August 22,  3,200 delegates are expected to come in and out of Cebu for the third Senior Officials’ Meeting and related meetings on trade and economic growth.

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