The 22-year-old Marco Polo Davao, the first and only five-star hotel in Mindanao, will cease operations on June 15, as it becomes the latest casualty of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The closure of the Davao City hotel is a big blow to the Hong Kong-based Marco Polo Hotels, as its Philippine presence will be restricted to two eponymous hotels in Ortigas in metro Manila, and in Cebu.
Pearl Peralta-Maclang, Marco Polo Davao director of sales and marketing, explained that the decision to cease operations “goes beyond the financial losses and the uncertainties surrounding the future of the hotel industry”.
She added: “The welfare of the associates played a major factor. It is fortunate that the company has the capabilities to take care of its 270 employees – their separation pay are based on the retirement policy of the company and the rest in accordance with the law.”
The writing on the wall tells of an uncertain future for the hotel industry since Davao City was put on lockdown two months ago. Most hotels and resorts shut down, borders were closed, and an executive order was issued limiting social gatherings to a maximum of 25 pax until December.
Amid the lockdown, Marco Polo Davao remains open to cater to business process outsourcing (BPO) workers, but BPOs in Davao are fewer than those in metro Manila and the hotel has no foreign market to rely on.
Peralta-Maclang said that with “indefinite cessation” of business, the hotel might reopen if the market signals are positive.