The Hotels and Restaurants Association of Negros Occidental (HRANO) is optimistic about the economic boost brought by the 44th MassKara Festival as hotels and other accommodation establishments here are already fully booked for the highlights on Oct. 19 to 22.
As of Thursday, the HRANO has reported 70 percent occupancy for the coming weekend, ahead of the culmination events next weekend with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos as guests of honor.
“We are thankful for the economic opportunity this festival brings. It shows we are really gaining popularity as a festival and this translates to positive economic growth,” HRANO president Bobby Magalona said in a statement.
Magalona noted that hotels and restaurants have hired additional manpower because of the high demand for their services.
“We can imagine what this employment, even if temporary, can do to the lives of these people,” he added.
Councilor Jason Villarosa, chairperson of the City Council’s Committee on Tourism, welcomed the development shared by HRANO, saying it will not only benefit the establishments in Bacolod but also those in the province that would accommodate the spillover of guests from the city.
“With this development, we will clearly reach our target,” he added.
Meanwhile, 44th MassKara Festival chairperson Jojie Dingcong reminded the HRANO to “put your best foot forward and give a great experience to our visitors.”
About 20 hotels, 16 Mabuhay accommodations (inns and pension houses), five resorts, and one condo hotel in Bacolod offer almost 3,700 rooms, the City Tourism Office data show.
During the 43rd MassKara Festival, which marked its return after a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus disease (Covid)-19 pandemic, almost 160,000 tourists came to Bacolod.
The tourist arrivals translated to receipts amounting to PHP2.84 billion, based on the figures of the City Tourism Office from hotels and other accommodation establishments, the airport, and sea ports. (PNA)