To aid in the recovery of the tourism industry, hoteliers are requesting the lifting of the staycation ban imposed over Metro Manila.
Strict restrictions have been in place over the region due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the last few months.
At present and per the Inter-Agency Task Force’s (IATF) updated Alert Level System, which came into effect on September 30, 2021, hotel staycations are still prohibited in the National Capital Region (NCR), an area under Alert Level 4 until October 15, 2021.
Representing the tourism industry is the Philippine Hotel Owners Association (PHOA), which petitioned the restrictions to be dropped.
“We are hoping that the authorities will allow staycations in Metro Manila. The vaccination rate of workers in our hotels is around 90 percent to 95 percent,” PHOA Executive Director Benito Bengzon Jr. told BusinessMirror.
“Our hotels strictly implement the required health and safety protocols to ensure the convenient and pleasurable stay of our guests. The staycation market will provide the much-needed revenue to sustain our operations,” Bengzon added.
Activities that are also temporarily banned include indoor venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, events (MICE); as well as outdoor and indoor amusement parks or theme parks. Social events such as parties, wedding receptions, family reunions, etc., are also not permitted.
Meanwhile, the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association Inc. (HSMA) and the Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP) are fighting for vaccinated tourists to be allowed to go on staycations.
HSMA President Benajmin Martinez said “vaccinated guests…and since tourism frontliners/stakeholders are already 98-percent vaccinated too, it’s almost like a bubble of fully vaccinated individuals. This should at least jumpstart our business and the economy.”
TCP President Jose Clemente III has the same idea in mind. However, he also wants MICE to be allowed – provided quarantine guests and vaccinated individuals do not intermix.
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