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Davao hotels tweak operations to ride out crisis

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DAVAO CITY — Some big hotels have managed to keep operations going despite the lockdown, thanks to the demand from business process outsourcing (BPO) firms and food delivery.

Hotels now have to explore new revenue streams as the tourism industry is expected to remain limited as the coronavirus crisis continues.

“In general, all are hit in a very big way. Most of the businesses are closed, while some are partially open. Some hotels opened to cater the BPOs and frontliners. At least they are able to open just to recover from their costs,” Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Regional Governor Arturo M. Milan said in a phone interview.

Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao, one of the oldest in the city, is “bleeding” despite being able to stay open, said Jennifer R. Romero, head of sales and marketing department.

“We will try to lower down the cost and will see if we can hit the break even figures,” Ms. Romero told BusinessWorld in a private message.

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CHMI Land, Inc.’s Acacia Hotel Davao, which just opened late last year, has also managed to maintain operations for BPO workers and its Luk Foo Palace restaurant.

While quarantine rules are being eased except for tourism and leisure sites, Mr. Milan said hotels and other facilities can start looking for new income sources.

He said among the recommendations made during a recent business sector virtual meeting are the possible reconfiguration of some hotels into office spaces and promoting inter-province tourism for families and small groups. — Maya M. Padillo and Carmelito Q. Francisco

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