News: Iconic Philippine Plaza hotel vows to help staff before closing doors


Iconic Philippine Plaza hotel vows to help staff before closing doors

The shuttering of Sofitel Philippine Plaza has been deemed a ‘significant loss’ to the tourism industry.
Iconic Philippine Plaza hotel vows to help staff before closing doors

The long-standing hotel Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Manila will shut down on 1 July after nearly 50 years in operation, the company announced.

Sofitel, which is managed by AccorHotels, will prepare to cease operations but promises to fulfill existing reservations and commitments until the end of June before officially closing.

Employees impacted by the closure will receive separation packages as they transition from their roles at the five-star hotel. They can also take part in job training seminars to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to find employment opportunities elsewhere, Esteban G. Peña Sy, president and owner of Sofitel Philippine Plaza, announced.

Safety hazards at Sofitel in Manila

The years 2022 and 2023 were among the hotel’s “best years ever,” according to Peña Sy. Occupancy rates reached as high as 100% in certain months.

However, safety concerns – such as frequent water pipe damages and a worrying increase in fire incidents over the past year – have plagued the hotel. These issues posed risks to the safety and well-being of guests and staff and led to the decision to close the hotel.

“This decision comes as part of our ongoing commitment to providing our guests and colleagues with the best possible experience,” the management said.

Apart from facing safety hazards, Sofitel is reportedly closing down after negotiations with the Government Service and Insurance System regarding the lease remained unresolved. GSIS owns the land where the hotel was built.

‘A significant loss’ to Philippine tourism

Hotel executives met with officials of the Philippine tourism department earlier this week to discuss the matter.

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco expressed sadness over the closure, calling it a “significant loss” to the country’s tourism industry, but welcomed the decision to put guests and employees’ safety first.

“I am glad that we are able to do this dialogue so that, first, we would know from you the context of the announcement of closure and, second, to express our grave concern for the employees that will be losing their livelihood as a result of the closure,” Frasco said.

“Thank you for all of the contributions that you, and the institution that is Sofitel, have made to the tourism industry. It is one that has seen our country through many seasons, and has stood the test of time.”

The department’s National Capital Region office is set to extend support to laid-off workers, particularly through said job fairs.

“We want to assure you that we will help you and the employees in any way we can,” the tourism secretary said.

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Topics: Business, #Layoffs

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