‘Cozy’ accommodations for some Apec delegates

Asia-Pacific-Economic-Coope
TO SAVE on high hotel rates during the ongoing Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meetings here in Cebu, a key official reported that some delegates had chosen to share rooms instead, even reaching up to triple-sharing arrangements.

This was according to Apec Senior Officials Meeting chairperson Laura del Rosario during yesterday’s press briefing at the International Media Center at the Bayfront Hotel.

“(Some of the delegates) were in twin-sharing and triple-sharing rooms,” she said.

In early August, del Rosario appealed to hotel managers and the Department of Tourism in Cebu not to raise hotel rates so much.

According to reports, rooms priced at around P5,000 per night went up to between P11,000 and P14,000.

Del Rosario said she is staying in a four-star hotel in Cebu, which had “upgraded” her room.

“There are hotels that gave friendly rates,” she said.

Most of the delegates, according to the official, stayed in three- and four-star hotels.

Incentive

Asked if Cebu can be a recommended venue for Mice (meetings, incentive, convention and exhibition), she said only if hotels charge reasonable rates.

In Thailand, she said, one can stay in a four-star hotel for around $80, or close to P4,000.

“Events like these can generate more investments in tourism,” del Rosario said.

She said other places in the country should be recommended venues for Mice, not only Cebu.

In Cebu, the official Apec meeting venues are Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu, Cebu City Marriott Hotel, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu and Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa, among others.

Last month, it was reported that some of them raised their rates by more than 120 percent.

Hotel managers explained that the rise was “normal” and “market-driven” with the increase in demand. Moreover, the cost of preparation and the addition of some amenities and requirements had to be considered.

Meanwhile, those who stay in hotels that are not conference venues have been provided with shuttle services.

By Jeandie O. Galolo www.sunstar.com.ph