Hospitality industry in full swing as holidays roll in



We know that we are finally at the age of post-pandemic – despite the rising cases of Covid the past weeks – when hotels and resorts are fully booked for parties and staycations especially during the holidays. The hospitality industry took a hard blow from the pandemic, but now, everything seems to be in full swing again as hotels experience an influx of bookings and reservations.

While there are a few hotels that failed to overcome the challenge of the lockdowns despite efforts from their management to cope including converting the rooms into quarantine facilities, there are those who now can proudly say they have stood the test of time and even came out better.

When we speak of landmark hotels, Manila Hotel in the heart of Manila City, is always top of mind having stood through the country’s ups and downs since it was built in 1909. Its commitment to honor the Philippine heritage through its architecture, food and design has, in my opinion, made it legendary as it has become a symbol not only of our country’s beauty but our resiliency.

That is why it is thrilling to find other old hotels that seem to have taken their cue from Manila Hotel. One such welcome surprise is Admiral Hotel which was built in 1939. It used to be the tallest building along Roxas Boulevard and a landmark for seafarers docking by Manila Bay. Looking at the pandemic as an opportunity rather than a stumbling block, Admiral worked to reconstruct the hotel that time. What I found particularly interesting was how they made it a point to preserve the original design, architecture, touchpoints, services, and offerings of the hotel. I feel like if we have more hotels that did not choose to conform to overly commercialized aesthetics as is the trend, we can give our local hospitality industry a boost.

As Admiral Hotel Director Lei Echipare shared, “The owners and the management team could have decided to build a high-rise tower to generate more revenue, but instead, they kept the original number of floors and make it almost the same as the old structure to keep its legacy of providing world-class Filipino hospitality.”

As the restrictions have been lifted, other hotels who are still struggling to recoup their losses can take a cue from Admiral. Marketing manager Katrina Nocom adds, “The economic impact as a newly developed and opened hotel can be attributed to its revenue generated from room accommodation, dining outlets, banqueting, spa, and other miscellaneous fees. Direct impact also includes the number of jobs created for local talents, total payroll paid out to its employees, and tax revenues for the city where it is located. A new hotel like Admiral also had an impact on its contractors and vendors that supply goods and services for the hotel's operations.”

It is really the most opportune moment to boost our local hotels and resorts with the new breed of “revenge travellers” or those who want to travel again and bring back the kind of lifestyle that they have missed for a couple of years, whether they are domestic or international inbound tourists.

“At a national scale, hotels like us help boost the travel and tourism industry of the country, especially at this post pandemic stage. Since we had our soft opening last July 2022, we have been very grateful to have welcomed guests from different segments and had them experience the most memorable hospitality experience in Manila,” Nocom shares.

Post pandemic, hotels are facing a soaring demand from people who are back to travelling again, coupled with a global staffing shortage as most hoteliers opted to shift to other industries or take other jobs where they see a more stable future. Hotels must make sure to take care of its people and development needs. Developing their people’s skills for their individual professional growth could positively impact the company’s sustainable performance.

Those in the hospitality business must learn to adapt their operational procedures. Committing to responsible tourism by ensuring reduction of carbon footprint and giving back to the community will provide hotels and resorts the capacity to become key players and contributors to the Philippine economy and the country’s sustainable development program at large.

Hotel owners and operators must revisit their strategies, assess their options and make the right decisions to secure a more certain future. Staying updated on the latest subsidy offerings of the government, seeking helpful advice and remaining optimistic can usher smoother recovery.

The Filipino people as a whole is known to be intrinsically hospitable making our culture especially distinct. Just like how distinct our landmark hotels are, our hospitality makes the tourism sector not only an important, but almost certainly a bankable sector that will be among the significant contributors to our economic recovery.