A new SureStay Plus Hotel along Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City has been granted investment incentives by the Board of Investments (BOI).
The hotel, with an estimated project cost of P45 million, will offer 63 rooms and is designed to minimize risks of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
SureStay Plus is a brand of Best Western International, Inc. for value-oriented travelers.
This will be the second SureStay Plus hotel in the country, after the hotel in Angeles City, Pampanga, and the second premium economy hotel project of Cebu Quad Management Corporation.
In a statement, BOI said SureStay Plus Hotel will be adopting information technology (IT) systems for contact tracing, online booking and contactless payment.
Cameras equipped with thermal sensors or no-contact thermal scanner and disinfecting kiosks with sensors will be installed as part of measures to reduce COVID-19 infections.
BOI said SureStay Plus Hotel in Cebu City is projected to generate 32 direct and indirect jobs in its first five years of operation.
The project will also help address the room gap by contributing 63 new rooms and is expected to provide additional income to Food & Beverage suppliers and furniture designers and makers of high-quality handicrafts in Cebu.
The project supports the government’s “Buy Local” campaign, which aims to promote patronage of products and services of domestic enterprises to help them recover from losses during the lockdown.
BOI said it is collaborating closely with the Department of Tourism (DOT) to introduce a policy providing investment incentives for tourism and tourism-related industries that are upgrading and modernizing their facilities in order to operate under the new normal.
Operators of tourist accommodation facilities that would like to undertake improvements to make their facilities COVID-proof may apply for BOI incentives granted to modernization projects, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.
“Even tourism facilities in Boracay, which currently do not qualify for incentives for new and expansion projects because of locational restrictions, may qualify for this special type of incentives for Covid modernization/upgrade projects. These incentives are meant to help the tourism industry recover faster and provide comfort/safety in our tourism facilities,” Puyat said.
She noted that the tourism sector has been one of the worst affected by the current health crisis.
“By providing investment incentives, we hope that the sector, which was a major driver of the economy’s growth pre-COVID-19, will stay afloat, continue business operations, and recover the soonest while ensuring the health, safety and wellness of tourists,” Puyat said.
The accommodation segment currently employs about 1.91 million Filipinos or 33.6 percent share in the total employment in 2019.
Accommodation is an important tourism value chain of the country being a leading dollar earner along with the overseas Filipino workers and business process outsourcing firms.
Foreign visitors stay for an average of 9.49 nights and spend an average of US$128.35 daily.
In terms of contribution to economy, the sector contributed P518.72 million or 20.9% of the total of Tourism Direct Gross Value Added of P2.48 trillion in 2019. (Ventures Cebu)