Hotels predict 60% revenue loss with NCR lockdown


MORE financial losses are projected by the hospitality industry in Metro Manila and some leisure destinations in the provinces as the National Capital Region (NCR) went into a two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) starting August 6.

Stricter lockdowns were also imposed on other provinces as their Covid-19 cases surged, which many health authorities assumed was due to the more contagious Delta variant.

Hardest hit once more is Boracay Island, where bulk of its domestic tourists come from NCR. Being part of Aklan, it is now under modified ECQ until August 15.

In a statement sent to the BusinessMirror, the Board of Directors of the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association Inc. (HSMA) said, “The hospitality industry’s revenues will certainly drop by an estimated 60 percent this August as the leisure market, which was starting to rebound, last June and July will be hard hit by the quarantine rules. The leisure segment has been a lucrative market for most hotels and resorts during the more relaxed period in the last months, as the market provide revenues in both rooms and food and beverage.”

The group added, “At this time of the pandemic, every piece of business matters and losing two weeks of revenue opportunities is financially critical. We are hopeful to regain some business during the last quarter of the year, when business picks up and historically, is more robust.”

It was only on May 18 that staycation hotels in NCR Plus (Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal) were allowed to accept guests anew, while 35 quarantine hotels have been allowed to become multi-purpose establishments as of June 15. Multi-use hotels can accept guests outside of quarantining individuals. The ECQ in the Metro Manila will last until August 20.

Boracay hardest hit anew

Due to the ban on leisure travel since July 30, carriers have also had to trim their flights, although they are hinging on their passengers to rebook their cancelled flights, instead of asking for refunds.

Cebu Pacific Air, for one, said it canceled “300 one-way flights to leisure destinations such as Boracay, Bohol, and Siargao from July 31 to August 20.” While the airline failed to state potential losses from these flights, by this paper’s own computations, CEB may record P300,000 in one-way losses, or P600,000 on return flights for the period, if its passengers decide to have their bookings refunded. Airfare is estimated at P1,000, one-way.

In Boracay Island, 41 of 292 resorts accredited by the Department of Tourism, continue to operate as of August 6, despite the MECQ imposed on Aklan. “Initially, we have 27 accommodation establishments with long-staying guests on the island. The 24 guests who arrived on August 1 and 2 are staying just one to four days and are from Panay, while 50 percent are from Aklan,” said DOT Region 6 Director Tin Mansinares in a Viber message.

In July, the Malay tourism office recorded 35,108 tourists, generating an estimated P642 million in receipts. “We expected the August arrivals to pick up based on the arrival trend since the island reopened to NCR-plus guests in June,” said the DOT official.

According to Compliance Association of Boracay president Boyet Sacdalan, one member-hotel for instance, received cancellations on 40 rooms, covering 128 room nights until August 20. At an average of P2,500 per night, he said the hotel will rack up a loss of P320,000.

“From just trying to break even when Manila was still under GCQ to the lockdown (ECQ), the checked-in long-staying guests are not even 5 percent of the hotel’s occupancy,” he said. “Most of the hotels are already closed; among our members, 80 percent have closed in the meantime so they don’t have the added expense of paying for salaries and utilities. Many restaurants and retail stores have also closed again,” he added.

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