Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) organizers and some delegates initially were upset about the sudden increase in price that reached as high as more than 100%. One room that was originally for P4,500 for a night was priced at P11,000 a night for the APEC meetings. Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary Laura del Rosario said, “They are upset… ‘Why is Cebu doing this? Please don’t treat us like tourists.’ The delegates are coming here for a meeting that’s very important. Please don’t kill it.”
But tensions soon eased after hotels explained “that such rate-setting is market-driven and is aligned with rates charged by hotels that are part of their global networks,” said Director General of the APEC National Organizing Council (NOC) Ambassador Marciano Paynor, Jr. Hotels also mentioned that additional costs went to preparing the hotels for the “world-class event” as General Manager of Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu Nishan Silva called it.
The event also meant that hotels had to block rooms, disallowing regular guests to use them, to ensure that accommodations are sufficient for the number of participating delegates. Hotelier Robert Lim Joseph raised the risk of loss that hotels face in these cases, “What if there is no-show (among APEC delegates)? Who will pay for the rooms?”
Hotel management defend their rates saying the raised prices are still lower than the price of spending the same night in a hotel in Bali, Indonesia which hosted the APEC last 2013.
The Public Information Agency (PIA) stated on their website that the APEC meetings to be held in Cebu from Aug. 22 to Sept.6 will “continue discussions on trade and investment liberalization, business facilitation, and economic cooperation within the Asia-Pacific region. Issues to be tackled, range from illegal logging; mining; health; counter-terrorism; food safety; intellectual property rights; standards and conformance; sustainability of cities; disaster risk management, among others.”
Photo credits: Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino