A Different Kind Of Hospitality: Local Hotels’ Efforts In The Fight Against COVID-19
The country’s travel and hospitality industry has been badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and yet, local hotels respond to the call to help despite challenges. Here’s how they’re serving our frontliners and helping in flattening the curve
The COVID-19 pandemic has given birth to many modern-day heroes, most of them medical personnel, who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the battle against the virus.
Another group of heroes who have being quietly working in the background are people from the hospitality industry who have stepped forward to provide medical frontliners a safe and relaxing refuge after a hard day’s work.
While hit hard by the outbreak, various hotels across the country have resumed partial operations to host the frontliners until the efforts to “flatten the curve” has been achieved.
Taking the lead is The Oriental Hotels and Resorts, a luxury hospitality chain which has devoted four of its properties for the social responsibility undertaking.
“We have opened up all our hotels for free to all working medical frontliners; we have to protect them because they are our first line of defense. I hope other hotel owners will follow suit, the sooner we get all our acts together, the earlier this will all end and the sooner we can all to back to normalcy,” says its chairman Wilbert Lee.
He pointed out that hotels are ideal as housing facilities since they have their own toilet and bath, and promotes social distancing which is crucial to the containment of the virus.
Oriental properties taking part are its 4-star flagship hilltop hotel in Legazpi City, its 4-star resort in Palo, Leyte, its boutique business hotel in Albay, a resort hotel and a middle-end dormitory, both located at the Freeport Area of Bataan in Mariveles town.
He has also elicited the support of small hotels in the Bicol region to join his cause, among them Paopao Hotel in Sorsogon City, Villa Amada Hotel and Pepperland Hotel in Legazpi City, Hotel Sogo, BISCAST Hotel, Hillary Hotel, Andrew Hostel, and Bambino Lodge in Naga City, Cloud 9 Hotel in Antipolo City, Mt. Zion Resort in Bataan, and a Manila-based nine-hotel chain.
In Batangas, Limapark Hotel is hosting 60 seafarer overseas Filipino workers for quarantine prior to their return to their homes. As part of its corporate social responsibility, it is also providing weekly Hero Meals to medical workers and support personnel to six hospitals in the Lipa City area sponsored by the hotel employees.
Its affiliates Marian Orchard, Batangas Lakelands, and FAITH Center for Extension Services (FACES), distributed vegetable packs to 100 families around Taal Lake who were hit by the double whammy of volcanic eruption and the quarantine.
Down south in Cebu, one of the hardest hit cities, Marco Polo Plaza is supporting the frontliners of Barangay Apas by providing food every Tuesday.
In Davao, the 72-year old iconic Apo View Hotel has been providing complimentary stays to some 50 staff of the government-run Southern Philippines Medical Center, the city’s designated COVID-19 hospital.
In Pampanga, Widus Hotel has donated Php2 million to the Clark Development Corporation for the purchase of Php1.5 M worth of personal protective equipment and medical support for 16 government hospitals and local infirmary units within the province and neighboring Tarlac. Food assistance worth PhP 500,000 were also given to some 1,000 underprivileged families, Aeta tribes, and minimum wage earners.
Quest Plus Clark is hosting the medical workers of The Medical City Clark for easy mobility. The hotel also lights up guest rooms every night to illuminate the form of a heart to spread positivity and express solidarity to the brave frontliners.
Global Comfort Group Corp., the largest Filipino chain, has opened 400 rooms nationwide under its economy and mid-priced hotel brands Eurotel, Bell Hotel, DreamWorld, and Icon. The group’s popular motor lodge, Hotel Sogo, has earlier offered 857 free room accommodations to frontline healthcare workers during the first days of the enhanced community quarantine. The budget lodging has been working with the city governments of Manila, Quezon City, Caloocan, and Bacoor under its Sogo Cares CSR program.
Last but not least, U Hotels, a boutique art hotel in Makati, has also joined the anti-COVID-19 efforts by donating faceshields to hospitals hand-made by its staff.
Indeed, in good or bad times, the Philippines is never wanting in heroes.