How COVID-19 Pandemic Affects Resorts in Laguna - Laguna Hot Spring
Hospitality Industries suffered in Manila and other major provinces in the Philippines, including Calabarzon, since March 17 when Community lockdowns were imposed.
The current pandemic affects the worldwide tourism and hospitality industries since the travel restrictions were imposed on travelers. In history, epidemics and pandemics have immediate impacts on hotels and restaurants, airline industries, and travel agencies dues to domestic and international travel restrictions.
Domestic tour operators say to Inquirer.net that they have P10 billion lost in potential earnings because of the cancellation of flights, booking reservations and other activities related to tourism.
Impact of the Pandemic in Laguna Hot Spring Resorts
The operation of many resorts, hotels, and other industries in the Philippines was suspended because of the first announcement of Enhance Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon last March 16, 2020. The government of the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte imposed a total lockdown to restrict the movement of the population. This is a response to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease in 2019 (Covid-19) in the country.
Many tourism entrepreneurs and local governments are having difficulties in the current situation of their businesses because of the extension of community lockdowns around the country.
Job Losses —Hence in the region of Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon), many canceled bookings and tours left the hospitality industry establishments empty during what was supposed to be the peak season. Moreover, many job losses were reported when quarantines were imposed by the national and local governments which forced tourism-related establishments to close.
On a news published by Inquirer with city tourism officer Larissa Malinao, 760 hot spring resorts and swimming pools have suspended their operations during ECQ.
Cancellation of Booking Reservations —On July 1, the province of Laguna was declared under Moderate General Community Quarantine or MGCQ. This means that accommodation establishments including tourist inns, motels, pension houses, condotels, bread and breakfast facilities, hotels, and resorts can operate.
As of July 15, the Philippine Government declared that the province of Laguna will go back to General Community Quarantine. Under the IATF guidelines of GCQ, operations of all accommodation establishments are impermissible.
Due to these unpredictable changes, many hot spring resort owners in Laguna were dismayed since they only had two weeks to operate and they have to pay their employees in advance. Another problem that they have encountered was the number of bookings that they need to cancel.
Compensation with Employees While Income Deficit —Many owners want to comply with the government to extend their operation so they can prepare before they close their resorts. Meanwhile, Calamba LGU grant their request to extend their operation for one week In the interview with Joel Martinez, a resort owner, and barangay chairman, by ABS-CBN news, each big resorts in Laguna have lost almost one million pesos. He added, many resort owners in Laguna give compensation to their employees even when the whole resort is not operating.
Though there are inconveniences, the owners intended that they are willing to cooperate with the Bayanihan Heal as One Act and believe that health is more important than income. If the virus will continue, the Tourism Congress of the Philippines estimates that we may lose up to P20 billion in total.
Recovery after Pandemic
The economy of the country is crippling with loss of production and demand, many households' income was affected, communities are in a panic, and governments taking compulsive and catastrophic decisions. As the result, the Philippines might spend years recovering. How to recover our revenue? This is the primary question of resort owners after being devastated by the pandemic. This is not an easy task since it requires a lot of organization, promotion, and effort. Here are some steps to start recovering your business:
Offer Promotions —Leaders in the industries have suggested offering large discounts and promotions to escalate the number of bookings in carriers, hotels, resorts, and other travel-oriented businesses. The reason why discounts and promotions are very effective is because of the principle of urgency.
Discounts are only available for a specific period of time. If the potential customer didn’t grab the promo now, they’re likely to miss out on saving money. That apprehension of missing out is the main reason why discounts and promotions work.
Follow Up Customers —Focus on the satisfaction of the customers to regain your reputation. Make sure to answer reviews. For customers who have canceled bookings because of the lockdowns, you can follow up and offer if they are willing to rebook.
Keeping a high standard of service and responding diplomatically are some of the keys to satisfying a customer. A regular follow up always gives customers a chance to engage. This can be a great source for owners to know the customers' wants and what are their expectations.
Upgrade Booking Experience —Because of the Covid-19 crisis, many bookings and reservations were suspended. This can be an opportunity to innovate the process of your bookings and services. People nowadays are using the internet to explore resorts and hotels for accommodation. This means that your site, together with your booking engine, should be mobile-friendly.