December 5, 2023

Hotels in areas under general community quarantine and modified GCQ may soon open at full operational capacity, the Department of Tourism said.

The DOT was given the authority by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to determine the allowable operational capacity of up to 100 percent for hotels, including those catering to staycationers.

“The decision to open at 100 percent operational capacity will be subject to the hotel management’s decision and compliance with the safety guidelines,” Tourism Sec. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

For accommodation establishments in areas declared to be under MGCQ, IATF’s Resolution 79 provides that the DOT may determine their allowable operational capacity from the previous provision for a maximum of 50 percent operational capacity.

Also approved in the resolution is the easing up of inter-zonal and intra-zonal movement, which Romulo-Puyat said is “the predicate to reviving domestic tourism”.

“Along with this comes the need to ready the whole tourism value chain, which includes the accommodation, transportation and tour operation sectors. Allowing the accommodation sector to operate at full capacity will be most welcomed by the tourism’s workforce that has been greatly affected since the community lockdown,” she said.

Operational capacity is the number of employees who are allowed to physically report to work onsite. The DOT is expected to issue the amended guidelines for the expanded operational capacity of hotels including staycation hotels.

All hotels and other tourism establishments in areas declared to be under GCQ are required to secure a DOT certificate of authority to operate for staycations prior to accommodating any guests for staycation.

The Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) also welcomed the development, saying the eased policy would benefit the hotel sector, particularly its employees.

“We thank the Secretary for her support to really slowly reopen business as it will benefit the establishments along with employees going back to work. We fully understand the importance of sanitation, safety, and strict adherence to the protocols which have been implemented since the start,” HSMA president Christine Ibarreta said. PNA release