Resorts, hotels in cebu log 60% occupancy

HOTELS and resorts in Cebu have so far reached 50 percent to 60 percent in occupancy rate ahead of the Chinese New Year on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023.

Alfred Reyes, president of the Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC), on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2022, said the current occupancy rate is lower than the pre-pandemic years due to the absence of direct flights from mainland China to Cebu.

Prior to the pandemic, hotels and other accommodations in Cebu City would already achieve full occupancy by the month of December with guests staying for the Christmas holidays, Sinulog celebration, and the Chinese New Year.

At present, member resorts of HRRAC already have 60 percent occupancy while for city hotels, occupancy ranges between 50 percent and 60 percent.

Reyes said Chinese tourists aren’t back yet. What Cebu has now are tourists from South Korea and Taiwan. “That’s our market for now, still small compared to the pre-pandemic years,” he said.

Cebu’s hospitality sector is currently relying on the presence of domestic tourists while it awaits the full return of foreign tourists which is expected to gradually happen this year.

With a few days left before the Chinese New Year celebration, Reyes said there will be less possibility of Chinese tourists booking their stay in hotels and resorts on the island.

Data from the Department of Tourism showed that a total of 1.74 million Chinese tourists visited the Philippines in 2019, up 38.58 percent from 2018. This market alone spent US$2.3 billion.

The Chinese Consulate in Cebu estimated 700,000 Chinese tourists who visited Central Visayas in 2019.

The Chinese New Year means major spending across Asia on food and travel. Prior to the pandemic, more and more Chinese had chosen to spend the holiday taking domestic and international trips.

Tourism players in Cebu said they await the return of Chinese tourists, knowing that their comeback will drive better economic recovery and activities for the tourism sector. (EHP WITH KOC)