TO slowly open the tourism industry which was pummeled by the coronavirus pandemic, the government thru the Department of Tourism (DOT), started granting accommodation establishments (AEs) with Certificate of Authority to Operate for Staycation (CAOS).
DOT issues CAOS to accommodation establishments in an area placed under general community quarantine. Hotels with CAOS means guests may be allowed for staycation purposes.
DOT reiterated that there are only fifteen (15) accredited accommodation establishments (AEs) in Metro Manila that operate as staycation hotels as of January 5, 2021.
These are: Grand Hyatt Hotel, Makati Shangri-La Hotel, Okada Manila Hotel, Shangri-La at the Fort, Nobu Hotel, Joy Nostalg Hotel and Suites Manila, EDSA Shangri-La Manila, Solaire Resort, Hyatt Regency City of Dreams, Nuwa Hotel City of Dreams, The Peninsula Manila, Aruga by Rockwell, Sheraton Manila Hotel, Hilton Manila and Hotel Okura Manila.
Grand Hyatt Manila
Grand Hyatt Manila (GHM) has used this time wisely to conduct preventive maintenance in all areas of the hotel and reinforced compliance training to ensure that it maintains the highest standard in hygiene, food safety and cleanliness.
Training and accreditation for standards such as ISO22000, Global Biorisk Advisory Council STAR, and Safe Hotel and Safe Travel have been renewed and recertified.
Gottfried Bogensperger, general manager and area vice president at GHM, is very proud to say the hotel was the first in the country deemed by the authorities to be in compliance with all these standards.
Bogensperger mentioned it is good to be vigilant and to revisit all basic emergency setups, plans and protocols to ensure they are up to date. He said the hotel’s associates are trained to have full comprehensive understanding and know what to do to respond to issues arising from emergencies including this pandemic.
“We have certainly learned a lot over the past year in our efforts to deal with all the issues brought about by these challenging times,” he said. “Our associates feel safe in our environment and have the confidence to perform their tasks in a kind and caring manner.”
This pandemic has also made them realize that ultimately, personal health and well-being are the most important, he noted.
Bogensperger does not foresee any major business improvement in the hospitality and travel industry until the third or fourth quarter of this year, at the earliest. “In order to get the travel industry moving again, the government will have to ease restrictions considerably,” he noted.
He said that domestic companies and clientele will once again start supporting the hotel by patronizing its restaurants and event spaces.
He said that the large void resulting from the pandemic has reduced the opportunities for many people to earn a stable and regular income, and shattered careers, affecting the wellbeing of many businesses and the local community as a whole.
“We will recover but at a much slower pace than originally expected,” Bogensperger pointed out, hoping that the local customer base will step up and support the recovery.
Resorts World Manila
Resorts World Manila (RWM) continues to conduct discussions with the owners and management of its hotel brands, working closely with the international operators and looking at the potential market that is available.
Stephen Reilly, chief operating officer of RWM, believes the integrated resort and casino made the right decision and managed to maintain the jobs of many of the hotel personnel.
Reilly said the property has a very good hold on market share compared to many other unfortunate hotels struggling during this crisis.
RMW, the gateway to world-class Philippine hospitality, has an efficient sales team working closely with its hotel brands, seeking opportunities to maximize the occupancy and revenue streams.
RWM also took the opportunity to remodel much of its facility during the downtime, Reilly said, and those alterations and enhancements will continue this year to offer the public and guests a new experience when they return to the property.
RWM always presents new strategies by meeting, scrutinizing and creating a game plan regularly, as the property proactively gears up for any changes in the market, Reilly said.
“We do not intend to be complacent but would rather be aggressive, updated, responsive and consider customers’ needs on a daily basis,” he said.
He also mentioned that the industry has to accept the inevitable shift toward digital transformation.
According to Reilly, the “correct structuring” had a very good balance between the hotel brands and RWM, which gets peaks and troughs depending on the day and the event.
Foot traffic increased quite significantly over the last two to three months both for hotels for dining and retail outlets, coming from a total closure during the peak of the pandemic, he said.
Guests can look forward to having a clean, safe stay and a reassurance that hotel operators will continue to review practices in a bid to offer a safe environment for them to dine and relax.
Solaire Resort and Casino
In preparation to welcoming its guests again, Solaire has worked diligently amid current challenges to craft a blueprint that will strictly adhere to a Phasing Plan in terms of capacity and will be supported by the implementation of strict social distancing and other safety protocols.
In addition, the resort’s front of house team will be assisting on player education, and new normal guest journey videos will be on property screens to serve as guidance.
With safety as the foundation of its initiatives, guests can look forward to a new Solaire experience which remains centered in five-star excellence and genuine service.
It recently launched the “Solaire is Safe For You” campaign to keep guests and team members safe. It focuses on the resort’s elevated procedures that heed the new standards on health and safety.
Thomas Arasi, president and chief operating officer of Solaire, said the resort has taken the necessary steps to address deep concerns on cleanliness, sanitation and even social distancing, and implemented changes to its procedures to safeguard everyone’s wellbeing.
Arasi also said the resort continues to strive to go above and beyond the norms to provide the excellence, quality and genuine service it has become known for.
As it moves toward a new way of traveling and finding leisure, “we want our guests to be confident and assured when they stay with us,” he noted.