LOW consumer spending has continued to plague tourism-related establishments, a top official of the Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC) said.
“People are tightening their belts. And the fear is still there because there’s no vaccine yet. It’s not easy for businesses,” HRRAC president Carlo Suarez told SunStar Cebu.
Suarez said 95 percent of hotels and resorts in Lapu-Lapu City and 90 percent in Cebu City are back in operation for a month since Cebu Province and its major cities are placed under the modified general community quarantine.
During weekdays, guest volume only stands at five to 10 percent but this would peak on weekends.
Suarez said even with the easing of restrictions, challenges remain. He said various quarantine restrictions imposed by local government units make it difficult for guests to visit hotel and resort properties.
One of these is the age restriction to minors and senior citizens.
“We have a lot of inquiries from families who want to go out during the weekends and relax on the beach, especially in Mactan Island since it has been a long time since they’re at home, but they cannot do so. Age restriction is a major concern for us,” he said.
A report said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging and Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) is set to meet to finalize the new age group that will be allowed to go outside their homes as the country reopens the economy.
The government’s task force has prohibited those below 21 years old and those 60 years old and above from leaving their homes since March as they are more at risk of spreading and getting Covid-19.
Meanwhile, the HRRAC downplayed reports that many hotels are closing down.
Suarez said most of their members are re-opening, which signals the gradual recovery in the tourism sector.
In fact, HRRAC members are participating in the industry-wide virtual fair The Great Cebu Sale which runs until Oct. 31 and the Balik Turismo travel fair in Lapu-Lapu City on Oct. 17. (JOB)