Planners scramble for change in plans as Taal rumbles on

Taal volcano and Taal-Lake in Tagaytay City

Business events in the Philippines have been rudely interrupted at varying degrees by Taal Volcano’s spewing of ashes early this week and the probability of a major eruption anytime.

Taal Vista Hotel in upland Tagaytay, boasting one of the best panoramic views of the volcano below, has some events scheduled this week that were cancelled, rescheduled or moved to its sister hotels in Manila, as well as Conrad Manila and Park Inn by Radisson North Edsa.

Taal volcano and Taal-Lake in Tagaytay City

There was a big event that was cancelled altogether because logistics-wise, it would be difficult to move to another venue, said Lourdes Macalindong, vice president commercial of SM Hotels and Conventions Corp.

“It’s painful,” she said, as the first quarter of the year is high season for business events, and Tagaytay is popular for kick-off meetings and national conventions.

Macalindong said another SM property, Pico Sands Hotel in Batangas, has not experienced ashfall from Taal Volcano but guests wanted alternative routes to the hotel to avoid the Tagaytay route that is affected by volcanic ash.

Other sources told TTG Asia that Metro Manila was affected to a lesser extent in that business event delegates were not able to fly in when Ninoy Aquino International Airport was closed from Sunday evening to Monday morning.

Although far from Taal Volcano, the metro had its share of ashfall that could affect one’s health as well as airline and airport operations, leading events organisers to cancel and reschedule activities this week.

Lima Park Hotel in Malvar, Batangas, which sits away from the path of volcanic clouds, has become a better option against properties north of Batangas and including Metro Manila.

“Up until this time, there has been no event cancellations. At the moment the hotel is fully-booked and has several on-going business conferences/events,” said the hotel’s director for marketing and corporate communications, Rosalind M Landicho.

The Philippine Department of Tourism released an alert this morning that advised an immediate cessation of all tourism activities within the Taal Volcano danger zone, in line with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Department of Science and Technology’s continued Alert Level 4 warning.

To read about what Philippines’ stakeholders have to say about Taal at ATF, click here.

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