Resort to add more rooms and facilities as tourism picks up

SUSTAINED RECOVERY. Club Serena Resort in Moalboal, Cebu is expecting a rebound in travel following the downgrading of alert status and the reopening of the country’s borders to foreign tourists. The three-hectare resort is now slowly rebuilding what it lost to the pandemic and Typhoon Odette by building more rooms and amenities in preparation for the strong return of local and foreign tourists. / CLUB SERENA FACEBOOK PAGE

CLUB Serena Resort, a premier getaway in Moalboal, South Cebu, is expanding its rooms and amenities in anticipation of the return of overseas tourists after more than two years of the pandemic.

RJ Bautista, the resort’s general manager, said he was seeing signs of a “revenge trip” after a surge in bookings since lockdowns in Cebu province were lifted and the country’s borders reopened.

“There are days when we are not full like on weekdays, but towards the weekend we noticed reservations were full,” Bautista said, adding that most of the guests at the resort are locals and that ‘they come in groups like families.

The resort has been enjoying an average of 40-45% occupancy per month so far since restrictions in the province were eased.

“It’s the overall ambience of the hotel that attracts families for a one or two night stay. They can really relax and spend quality time with their loved ones here,” Bautista said.

He noted that the three-hectare resort stands to benefit from the shift in travel behavior, caused by the pandemic, towards more “outdoors, smaller and health-conscious groups”.

Club Serena currently has 17 spacious beach-view rooms, which Bautista says isn’t enough given the surge in bookings.

He said they sometimes turn down reservations because they had no more rooms to offer.

“It is for this reason that we are increasing the capacity of our rooms and our equipment. We have seen demand pick up and we want to position ourselves forward so that we can get a good share of local and overseas markets, they are all coming back fully,” he said.

From 17 rooms, the resort is adding 12 more rooms to accommodate more guests. The resort will also build a larger dining hall, reception rooms and a dive shop.

Club Serena was sold out for the entire Holy Week season amid inclement weather caused by Typhoon Agaton, which was later downgraded to a tropical depression, and Typhoon Basyang, which immediately left the Philippines area of ​​responsibility.

Moalboal is not a hard destination to sell, according to Bautista, especially since the town is famous for its white sand beach and is known as one of the best diving spots and aquatic adventure destination. of Cebu, like the sardine trail. He said the town is also popular among backpackers interested in diving and island-hopping.

Sustained recovery

Additionally, Bautista said the hospitality sector is excited about the strong comeback of foreign customers as this will speed up the recovery of the tourism sector which was hit by the pandemic and Typhoon Odette (Rai) in December.

In an initial report by the Department of Tourism (DOT) 7, tourism damage to Moalboal during Typhoon Odette reached 9.1 million pesos.

“We are still in the phase of reconstruction, renovation and recovery. But we are so happy with the progress we are seeing, now that tourism activities are back,” Bautista said. “We hope for a sustainable recovery.”

According to the DOT, the number of foreign tourist arrivals in the country reached 202,700 as of April 7, 2022.

Based on data generated by the One Health Pass, foreign arrivals from the United States topped the list with 43,744 visitors since the country reopened its borders to foreign leisure tourists.

Next comes Canada with 9,618; United Kingdom with 9,315; South Korea with 8,440; and Australia with 8,212 tourists.

“The steady influx of tourists to the Philippines is a good measure of the industry’s success in its preparations to welcome foreign tourists into the new normal. Our high vaccination rate among tourism workers and the seemingly low cases nationwide have helped restore travelers’ confidence to visit the Philippines during the summer season,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat said in a statement. .

Club Serena Resort is owned by AppleOne Properties, the developer and owner of the soon-to-open Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort and Residences in Punta Engaño, Lapu-Lapu City. The company also owns Diamond suites and residences in Cebu City.

Richard F. Gandhi