DAVAO CITY — Acacia Hotel Davao of Lucio L. Co.’s CHMI Land, Inc. has reopened after more than half a year of closure, signaling confidence in the soft resumption of the city’s tourism industry.

“Last June 2020, the hotel decided to temporarily close its doors to prioritize the safety of its valued clients, employees and for sustainability purposes,” said Acacia Davao’s Hotel Manager Agot Serrano in an interview via Messenger.

Davao City on March 8 adopted in full the latest National Government policy of eased local border restrictions, which means travel authority, medical certificate, and a negative coronavirus test result are no longer required.

“Now that we have already adapted to the new normal, the management is confident that the hotel can offer its heartfelt service with safety measures in place,” Ms. Serrano said.

To attract guests, the Acacia Hotel, one of the biggest in the city, is offering discounted rates until the end of March.

Luk Foo Palace Chinese restaurant and Waling Waling Cafe and Lobby Lounge are open for both hotel guests and non-staying visitors, but pre-booking is encouraged.

“Social distancing is observed at all times and there is a limit to the number of guests in rooms, function halls and in other areas to avoid mass gatherings. Our team made sure that the directives of the government are followed and hotel operations are adjusted on what is applicable,” she said.

Acacia Hotel Davao, which opened late November 2019, has 259 rooms and amenities include a swimming pool, gym, and function rooms.

The Davao City branches of other local and international hotel chains such as Dusit, Seda, and GoHotels have also been operating with adjustments to health protocols.

Tourism arrivals in the Davao Region dropped by at least 72% last year from over a million in 2019, according to the National Economic and Development Authority’s (NEDA) regional office.

NEDA-Davao Regional Director Maria Lourdes D. Lim, in a briefing in early February, said the tourism industry was the most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The region’s tourist receipts in the first three quarters of 2020 stood at P2.9 million, plunging 90% from P30.1 million in the same period the previous year.

Ms. Lim said the Philippine tourism industry as a whole is expected to slowly recover by 2022, with domestic travel as the main booster.

“Domestic travel will be the main priority as fewer people are likely to travel internationally in the near future and this is due to reduced income and travel budget in view of the pandemic’s impact on the economy,” she said. — Maya M. Padillo