October 2, 2023

The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB) said the hotel industry is now expected to recover from the effects of the pandemic at a much faster rate thanks to the continuous spike in hotel occupancy.

Andrew Pinero, spokesperson of the HRAB and client relations manager of the Baguio Country Club, said accommodation establishments are experiencing high occupancy rates as the city becomes an attractive destination for “revenge tourists” due to its accessibility and cooler climate.

“We are on the road to recovery but now shorter. If we projected at least five years before we can fully recover, now we can say at least three years,” Pinero said.

He said they noticed a 15 to 20 percent increase in the average monthly tourist arrivals based on hotel bookings.

Currently, the average monthly hotel occupancy in the city is 80 percent, even higher than the 60 to 65 percent before the pandemic, he said.

“We are seeing a high tourist arrival rate, especially on weekends which we hope will continue to allow us to recover in full,” he said.

During the quarantine period in 2020, the tourism industry posted an estimated P1.46 billion in losses.

The amount is based on the 540,373 local tourist arrivals from February to May 2019, computed on a daily expenditure of P2,700 per person per day.

Pinero added when the city started a slow but safe opening to tourists, the arrivals started to show an uptrend that continues to this day.

“If this showing will continue, the projection of five years will be cut short,” he said.

He said no accommodation establishment has yet reported any recent losses or having a hard time with their businesses. Even transient houses are also experiencing an increase in bookings, he added. – PNA