BOI approves Cebu hotel project

SureStay Plus Hotel, one of the globally-recognized and fastest growing Best Western® Hotels and Resorts brands, is investing P45 million to expand its location to Cebu City.

The Board of Investments has already approved the registration of the hotel project entitling it to a package of tax and fiscal incentives. Dubbed ‘Creative City of Design’, SureStay Plus Hotel is strategically located at the heart of Cebu City. It is the second premium economy hotel project of Cebu Quad Management Corp. in partnership with SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western, which first hotel is located in Angeles, Pampanga. 

According to BOI, SureStay Plus Hotel will be adopting information technology (IT) systems for contact tracing, online booking, contactless payment. The hotel will also install cameras equipped with thermal sensors or no-contact thermal scanner and disinfecting kiosks with sensors as part of measures to reduce COVID-19 infections.   

SureStay Plus Hotel is projected to generate some 32 direct and indirect jobs in its first five years of operation. The project will also help address the room gap by contributing 63 new rooms and is expected to provide additional income to Food & Beverage suppliers and furniture designers and makers of high-quality handicrafts in Cebu. The project supports the government’s "Buy Local" campaign which aims to promote patronage of products and services of domestic enterprises to help them recover from losses during the lockdown. 

Tourism has been among the hardest-hit sectors amid the global pandemic. As part of government’s efforts to help them, BOI has launched a campaign to support business during the pandemic. The campaign aims to provide Philippine businesses with the information and the help they need in view of the Covid-19 crisis. The campaign also promotes government help in a range of areas, from movement of goods to schemes for manufacturers. 

BOI also collaborated closely with the Department of Tourism to introduce a policy providing investment incentives for tourism and tourism-related industries that are upgrading and modernizing their facilities in order to operate under the new normal.  

“The tourism sector has been one of the worst affected of all the major sectors of the economy due to the current health crisis. By providing investment incentives, we hope that the sector, which was a major driver of the economy’s growth pre-Covid-19, will stay afloat, continue business operations, and recover the soonest while ensuring the health, safety and wellness of tourists,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat. 

Puyat said that tourist accommodation facilities that would like to undertake improvements to make their facilities COVID-proof may consider applying for registration of such with the BOI as modernization projects. These include tourism facilities in Boracay, which currently do not qualify for incentives for new and expansion projects because of locational restrictions.

She said the BOI incentives are meant to help the tourism industry recover faster and provide comfort/safety in our tourism facilities. 

As a labor-intensive sector, the accommodation segment employs about 1.91 million Filipinos or 33.6 percent share in the total employment in 2019. 

Accommodation is an important tourism value chain of the country being a leading dollar earner along with the overseas Filipino workers and business process outsourcing firms. The average length of stay of foreign visitors is usually up to 9.49 nights with an average daily expenditure of $128.35. In terms of contribution to economy, the sector contributed P518.72 million or 20.9 percent in the total of Tourism Direct Gross Value Added (TDGVA) of P2.48 trillion in 2019.