Cebu City tourism industry launches ‘staycation’ drive

·2 min read

CEBU’S domestic tourism will get a boost following the launch of “Stay Cebu, Celebrate Cebu,” a campaign geared toward enticing Cebuanos to travel around the city and stay in hotels.

Cebu City Tourism Commission chairperson Jocelyn Pesquera said the campaign will foster a collaboration atmosphere with the tourism stakeholders, particularly in the hospitality industry, to promote domestic tourism to offset the impact of the collapse of foreign arrivals in Cebu.

“The campaign is about staycation. Families have been staying at home for more than six months, and we want them to go out and stay in a safe environment,” said Pesquera, adding that this initiative is also meant to help the ailing hospitality industry. “Hopefully with this, we can start to revive the tourism industry.”

Eight hotels are offering up to 75 percent discount on room rates. Cebuanos can purchase these vouchers from Dec. 15 to 19, 2020 at the booths inside the Ayala Center Cebu. These vouchers are valid for use until Dec. 31, 2021.

Budget carrier Air Asia is also participating in the event, promoting Cebu as a destination for local travels.

The campaign is also a prelude to Cebu’s upcoming Sinulog celebration in January 2021.

The Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC) earlier said hotels continue to struggle with high operational costs and low occupancy rate amid the travel downturn induced by the coronavirus pandemic.

Hotels in Cebu have yet to see their occupancy pick up this December, traditionally a busy month for staycations among families.

The group said the fear of the pandemic may have dampened the Christmas spirit of consumers.

HRACC president Carlo Suarez said that although they remain optimistic, hotel occupancy in Cebu during the weekdays remains thin, considering the absence of foreign tourists. The usual 80 to 90 percent occupancy seen before during weekends is also now a challenge for hotels to achieve.

“People are still torn between going to the hotels for the holidays or staying at home to celebrate. There is still hesitation on their part,” he said.

Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu general manager Bjorn Henning Buth earlier said the hotel expects more local guests to book their Christmas and New Year holiday celebrations at Radisson.

“We expect December bookings to pick up as people look for safe environments to celebrate the holiday season,” he said. (KOC)

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