Phl bags World’s Leading Dive Destination, Tourist Attraction victory for 2020

Maris Federez   •   November 28, 2020   •   390

MANILA, Philippines — Intramuros and the country’s dive sites have once again bagged accolades at the 27th World Travel Awards, the Department of Tourism (DOT) reported on Saturday (November 28).

The DOT said the award-giving body has recognized the Philippines as the World’s Leading Dive Destination and Intramuros as the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction in 2020.

“We are incredibly grateful for the recognitions given to the Philippines’ magnificent dive sites and the beautifully-restored heritage site of Intramuros at the 27th World Travel Awards,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

“We will continue to promote sustainable, inclusive, and world-class tourism, especially now as we slowly reopen our attractions to more domestic tourists,” she added.

The DOT said that it is the Philippines’ second time to win the World’s Leading Dive Destination.

It bested eight (8) different dive destinations such as Azores Islands, Bora Bora, French Polynesia, Cayman Islands, Fiji, Galapagos Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Maldives, and Mexico. 

The DOT media release also said that the agency recognizes dive tourism, as well as increased visitor count, extended length of stay, and higher tourism revenue, as one of the key areas for positive industry growth.

The department, on the other hand, reported that it is Intramuros’ first time to win World’s Leading Tourist Attraction, beating fifteen (15) different attractions such as Acropolis of Greece, Burj Khalifa of Dubai, the Grand Canyon National Park of USA, Mount Kilimanjaro of Tanzania, and Taj Mahal of India, among others. —/mbmf

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.)

Tourism dept. issues show-cause order to Makati hotel after Dacera killing

Robie de Guzman   •   January 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Tuesday asked the City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati to explain why its government accreditation should not be suspended or revoked for possible violations for continuing to accept guests for leisure purposes when it is being used as a quarantine facility.

In a letter dated January 5, 2021, the DOT directed the hotel management to explain why it is still taking guests when government regulations state that an establishment being used as a quarantine or isolation facility are not allowed to provide accommodation for leisure purposes.

The hotel is the same establishment where flight attendant Christine Angelica Dacera was found dead.

“It has come to the attention of the DOT that the demise of a Philippine Airlines flight attendant occurred during a party held in your establishment on December 31, 2020. We understand based on reports that several individuals have checked-in or spend the evening in one of your rooms on the said date,” the letter read.

The hotel must submit its written explanation within three days, the department said.

Dacera was found in a bathtub in the hotel on January 1 after attending a private party, along with 11 male companions, in one of the hotel’s rooms.

She was rushed to a hospital but was declared dead on arrival due to a ruptured aortic aneurysm.

Authorities believe the flight attendant was sexually assaulted based on initial investigation. The results of Dacera’s autopsy are expected to be released soon.

Three suspects have been arrested while the rest are still at large.

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