Baguio hotels, restaurants feel the pinch of COVID-19

BAGUIO CITY — The city’s hospitality industry is feeling the brunt of the cancellation of major events and gatherings due to the continuous threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Andrew Pinero, spokesperson of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio and manager for client and customer relations of the Baguio Country Club, said on Tuesday that establishments have been doing their best to fill in the gaps from the losses incurred due to the cancelations.

Pinero said some have asked to move the event schedules to a later date. 

To cope with the losses, some hotels have come up with promo rates and Valentine specials to encourage people to book reservations.

“At this point, we count them as losses until such a time that we come to an agreement on a date that we both will agree on,” Pinero said.

On January 31, the local government announced the cancellation of all crowd-drawing events of the city for the next three weeks. This was followed by the cancellation of the Philippine Military Academy’s (PMA) annual alumni homecoming this weekend. 

The annual PMA homecoming brings in graduates of the country’s premier military institution and their families to the city. They book their hotel reservations immediately after the homecoming to be ready for the following year.

Even with the cancelation of events, Pinero said local tourists still travel to Baguio because of the cool temperature.

“There’s still a lot of people who consider Baguio as a destination and they still would want to enjoy the cool weather of Baguio, considering that the news always informs them about the dropping temperatures that we have right here,” Pinero said.

He assured tourists that accommodation establishments in the city are prepared and ready to respond to emergencies.“We are doing our best to help each other, and to assure people that the hotels and the restaurants here in Baguio are properly informed of what’s going on and that contingencies are ready in close coordination with the DOH (Department of Health),” Pinero said. (With reports from Zedrick John Macario/PNA)

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