Manila, Philippines – “Ensure that the Filipino brand of hospitality is exercised to the maximum capacity of hotels’ resources and capabilities.”
Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat gave this directive as she convened representatives of various hotels in Metro Manila where foreign visiting delegates of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games are currently billeted in.
This year’s SEA Games is estimated to bring in a total of 137,563 room nights to hotels across the four clusters of Manila, Southern Luzon & La Union, Clark, and Subic, with delegates staying from November 19 to December 12, 2019.
The emergency meeting, held today, November 27, at the DOT main office in Makati City, served as a platform for some 32 hotels, industry associations including the Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP), Philippine Hotel Owners Association Inc. (PHOAI); Hotel Sales and Marketing Associations (HSMA); and Philippine Association of Convention / Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers (PACEOS) to raise questions and suggestions in accommodating the SEA Games delegates.
Also present in the meeting are Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) officials Mr. Arsenic Lacson, Director of Games Services and Chris Tiu, Deputy Director for Volunteer Program.
The DOT committed to assigning a focal person in each of the four clusters and upgrading its existing information desks at the lobbies of the participating hotels. Initially intended to promote Philippine tourist destinations and tour packages to visitors, the desks are now open to disseminating additional SEA Games-related information from PHISGOC, and receiving concerns, which will be forwarded to PHISGOC for proper handling.
“Allow me to convey my gratitude to everyone for your support and active participation as a unified tourism sector, ready to render our best practices as we always have,” said Puyat, apparently moved by the bayanihan spirit and a “stepping up” mentality among the representatives of the hospitality industry.
TCP President Jose Clemente III assured the DOT that the entire tourism industry pledges its unbridled support to the success of the SEA Games.
“The tourism stakeholders felt the need to work together with the DOT as it is incumbent on us to show the best of the Philippines and the Filipinos. We have to keep our focus and ensure that the overall experience of our ASEAN neighbors’ athletes and officials will be good. It’s not as important how we start, but how we finish,” enthused Clemente.
The Tourism Secretary also shared that a number of brands and companies have reached out to the DOT to offer their products and volunteering services as support to this collective goal.
“It is in situations like this that we are faced with the challenge of making our visitors’ stay in the country one of fun and fulfilling experience. Anyway, that is what this friendly competition is about. Let us win as one. To do this, let us rise to the occasion and put our best foot forward,” added Puyat.
The DOT is also reaching out to hotels in Clark, CALABARZON and La Union to assure quality and consistent services all throughout.