Labella: Probe hotel room rate surge

CEBU City Mayor Edgardo Labella has asked the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Tourism (DOT) to investigate hotels, pension houses and other similar establishments that overprice rooms during the Sinulog festival.

Labella said he had advised hoteliers in Cebu City not to take advantage of the Sinulog season so as not to repel their prospective clients.

“I am requesting the DTI and DOT to see to it that there will be a regulatory approach on the sudden increase of hotel rates,” he said.

“I have advised some hotel owners not to take advantage of the influx of people. Make the rates reasonable. I think that’s one of the reasons (for the slow booking) because there is a sudden increase of hotel rates,” Labella added.

The local executive said his relatives who have arrived in Cebu City opted to stay with him in his residence, telling him that the hotel rates had increase.

Labella said several tourists on Airbnb, an accommodation-sharing site, booked to rent vacant condo units as the price is lower compared to the hotels.

Carlo Anton Suarez, president of the Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu Inc., earlier said the bookings in hotels have decreased due to the popularity of Airbnb.

Sinulog tickets

As to the grandstand tickets for the Sinulog Grand Parade on Jan. 19, 2020, Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) executive director Elmer Labella said on Wednesday, Jan. 8, that the tickets are not yet available for sale.

He said the SFI had tapped a private firm to serve as its marketing team. The firm was given a deadline on Thursday, Jan. 9, to prepare the tickets.

“They should be ready for distribution, selling and everything by Thursday,” said Elmer, brother of the mayor.

Elmer said one of the factors in the delay in the printing of the tickets was some internal issues in the marketing team.

The tickets, he said, will be made available online.

The delay in the ticket availability was caused by some innovations implemented by the private firm that included QR-coded wristbands, said marketing team director Jerome Calatrava.

He said they will start selling tickets on Saturday, Jan. 11, for the Sinulog sa Lalawigan and Tibu Kabataan and the grand parade.

The grandstand ticket prices for the Sinulog sa Lalawigan and Tribu Kabataan will be P100 each. The tickets will be sold at the entrance gate of the Cebu City Sports Complex on Saturday. (PAC, JJL, KAL)