PH secures two major awards in 2019 World Travel Awards

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 16, 2019   •   543

TOURISM AWARDS – Department of Tourism Undersecretary Arturo Boncato Jr. receives the Asia’s Leading Tourism Board and Asia’s Leading Dive Destination awards at the 2019 World Travel Awards on Saturday (Oct. 12). The DOT was hailed as Asia’s Leading Tourism Board after a significant increase in the country’s visitor arrivals has been recorded in the past year. (Photo courtesy of DOT)

The Philippines bagged two major awards at the 2019 World Travel Awards in Vietnam on October 12.

The 2019 World Travel Awards has hailed the Department of Tourism (DOT) as Asia’s Leading Tourism Board after it recorded a significant increase in visitor arrivals for the country in the past year.

There was a 14.08 percent year-on-year increase in the country’s international inbound traffic, based on the data of the DOT.

The country was also recognized as Asia’s Leading Dive Destination. According to the DOT, dive tourism is one of the key areas in the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP ) 2016 – 2022.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the awards are “for all Filipinos to celebrate.”

“A triumph as great as this simply could not be possible without the combined hard work from the government, industry partners, and tourism stakeholders in realizing a more upward tourism industry for the country,” she said.—AAC

DOT imposes penalties vs City Garden Grand Hotel

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Thursday (January 14) served a six-month suspension and a P10,000 fine on City Garden Grand Hotel (CGGH) for misrepresenting itself to the public.

The Tourism Department also revoked its Certificate of Authority to Operate.

In a statement, the DOT said the CGGH “misrepresented itself to the public as being allowed to accommodate guests for leisure or staycation purposes despite being a quarantine facility.”

Under DOT Administrative Order No. 2020-002-C, hotels operating as quarantine facilities are prohibited from accepting guests for leisure purposes.

Based on the resolution dated January 14, the CGGH in Makati City is liable for the offense of gross and evident bad faith in dealing with clients/fraudulent solicitation of business or making any false, deceptive, or misleading claims or statements.

Aside from the New Year’s Eve Party which led to the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera, the hotel also reportedly have marketing packages to accept leisure guests and never indicated that it is a quarantine hotel.

Meanwhile, the CGGH can file an appeal within the period prescribed by the DOT rules and regulations.

The Tourism Department also warned all accredited accommodation establishments (AEs) to confine their operations to the authority given them, limited to just one per given time. AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Result on City Garden Grand Hotel probe out this week – DOT

Robie de Guzman   •   January 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Results of the investigation into the possible violations of City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati City, where 23-year old flight attendant Christine Dacera died after partying with some friends, is expected to be out this week, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said on Tuesday.

“I was hoping to give a decision today pero hindi pwedeng i-rush. But don’t worry, by this week, lalabas na yan,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a press briefing.

The Tourism department last week issued a show-cause order against the hotel, directing its management to explain in writing within three days why its accreditation should not be revoked for possible violations for continuing to accept guests for leisure purposes when it is being used as a quarantine facility.

Government regulations state that an establishment being used as a quarantine or isolation facility are not allowed to provide accommodation for leisure purposes.

Puyat said the hotel already responded to the show-cause order and that the department conducted a physical investigation into the establishment last Friday.

She, however, declined to give any information about it but assured they are thoroughly probing the issue.

The tourism chief also assured that the DOT will do what is fair and just.

The hotel previously insisted that it claims no liability in Dacera’s death and that it is compliant with government policies. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Only 15 hotels in Metro Manila allowed to accept ‘staycation’ guests – DOT

Robie de Guzman   •   January 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Tourism (DOT) reiterated that not all four- or five-star accommodation establishments (AE) in Metro Manila are allowed to accept guests for leisure purposes.

In a statement on Tuesday, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said only those that have been granted by the DOT a certificate of authority to operate as staycation hotel can provide accommodation for leisure activities.

Puyat said only 15 establishments in the nation’s capital have been allowed to operate as “staycation” hotels and these are the following:

  • Grand Hyatt Hotel
  • Makati Shangri-La Hotel
  • Okada Manila Hotel
  • Shangri-La at the Fort
  • Nobu Hotel
  • Joy Nostalg Hotel and Suites Manila
  • EDSA Shangri-La Manila
  • Solaire Resort
  • Hyatt Regency City of Dreams
  • Nuwa Hotel City of Dreams
  • The Peninsula Manila
  • Aruga by Rockwell
  • Sheraton Manila Hotel
  • Hilton Manila
  • Hotel Okura Manila

Accommodation establishments that are not included in the list are either closed or operating as a quarantine facility, the DOT said.

“We would like to correct the misperception that all four- or five-star rated accommodation establishments can operate as staycation hotels. For a hotel to accept guests for leisure purposes, it has to apply for a Certificate of Authority to Operate as Staycation (CAOS) hotel,” the tourism chief said.

She also stressed that a hotel operating as a quarantine or isolation facility is prohibited from accepting guests for leisure purposes.

“With the authority is the responsibility to strictly adhere to the minimum health and safety guidelines. One has to pass the rigid inspection to ascertain that measures and systems are put in place and diligently practiced on a daily basis. It cannot, above all things, concurrently operate as a quarantine facility,” Puyat said.

Puyat made the statement after the DOT issued a show-cause order against City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati City where a 23-year old flight attendant was found dead in one of its rooms after attending a new year’s eve party.

The DOT asked the hotel to explain in three days why it should not be suspended as it is not accredited to operate as a staycation hotel.

“Lives are on the line and our economic recovery depends on everybody being responsible. Let us all perform our duties well. Each has an important part to play in managing this crisis,” Puyat said.

“This appeal is also aimed at AEs without CAOS and tour operators and other entities that continue to post invitations or make false, deceptive, and misleading claims or statements for the purpose of soliciting business from clients these non-staycation enterprises have been using social media to carry its ads,” she added.

Enterprises that wish to secure accreditation to operate as staycation hotels may submit their application through the department’s accreditation portal.

The department also urged the public to confirm via this link the operation status of an establishment before booking or checking-in. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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