Hotels in Metro Manila seek multiuse certification to cut losses

Hotels in Metro Manila look to serve both quarantine and business needs to cut the losses they sustained from the decline in leisure demand brought about by the lockdowns.

Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) vice president Benjamin Martinez said hotels in Metro Manila are now obtaining a multiple use certification from the government.

Such a permit will allow hotel operators to welcome guests who need to quarantine and accept bookings for business meetings and events.

Martinez, who serves as area director of sales and marketing for Bayleaf Hotels, said hotels can no longer just serve as quarantine facilities. Hotels in Metro Manila, for instance, managed to keep their operations running by receiving returning migrant workers and foreigners who need to quarantine.

However, Martinez said hotel operators extend discounted rates to the quarantine segment. As such, they suffer losses from their decision to turn their properties into quarantine facilities, and even shell out additional costs to invest in protective equipment.

“We cannot just rely on quarantine, these are special rates that we are giving to these shipping companies,” Martinez said.

The Bayleaf Intramuros serves as a quarantine facility for seafarers who just docked at the Port of Manila and are asked to look out for symptoms for 10 days.

“We applied for a multiple use hotel, which now allows our hotel to accept quarantine and non-quarantine guests. With this, we are able to accept essential meetings and social events. There is also the safety seal which allows us to get additional capacity,” Martinez said.

On the other hand, HSMA director for public relations Carmela Bocanegra said hotel operators should comply with the requirements set by the government before they try to secure a multi-use certification. She said it will be difficult for some hotels to get the permit given the stringency in the approval of applications.

For instance, Bocanegra said a hotel intending to serve both quarantine and business purposes must be equipped with numerous elevators for its separate guests. The entrance and check in facilities must be different for guests on official function and on medical requirements.

Martinez said the compliance to minimum health standards plays a role in whether a hotel’s bid to get a multi-use accreditation will be authorized.

However, he advised hotel operators to just abide by what the government requires in terms of health and sanitation not only to expand their income methods, but to protect their workers and visitors as well.