Hotels appeal to DOT to allow social events under stricter rules

Published February 9, 2021, 5:46 PM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

The closure of many accommodation establishments across the country amid the pandemic prompted hotels to appeal to the Department of Tourism (DOT) to allow them to hold social events in the “new normal” set up to help boost their revenues.


“We are appealing for reconsideration to allow MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions), socials and wedding events in both quarantine and staycation hotels that have established health and safety protocols in place with the premise that quarantine guests are not allowed to use the same entry/exit points, public area/s and venues that are being used by MICE and social event guests,” the position paper signed by HSMA Director of Education Loleth So and HSMA President Christine Ann Ibarreta stated.

The 150-strong association of hotel sales and marketing professionals admitted that they continue to be in a “most difficult situation” despite the quarantine business that some hotels are accommodating.

“Occupancy percentage levels may be high for some hotels but this should not be construed as a good assessment of the situation. Rates extended to this market segment is way below the usual rate – some almost just break even,” the HSMA said.

“Therefore, total revenue generated may just be enough to sustain operation cost of the hotels and pay the salaries of our employees,” it added.

Should they be allowed to cater to banquet events, the group assured that stricter protocols will be implemented, while additional guidelines have been suggested to ensure that guests are not compromised especially in quarantine hotels.

Among the group’s recommendations include separate elevators, entrances, separate floors/wings for room accommodations, and guest restriction of going elsewhere in the hotels aside from the venue of the event.

They also urged the DOT to check and qualify hotels that want to be accredited to accept these specific types of business.