There might be no room at the inn for papal visit | Inquirer News

There might be no room at the inn for papal visit

By: - Correspondent / @joeygabietaINQ
/ 04:35 AM August 17, 2014

“MY HEART IS SWELLING. The weather was hot but all I could feel was happiness,” a 58-year-old housewife, told Agence France-Presse. Pope Francis arrives to celebrate aMass and the beatification of Paul Yun ji-Chung and 123 martyrs at Gwanghwamun Door on Saturday. AP

TACLOBAN CITY—There might be no room at the inn.

Five months away from the scheduled papal visit to the country, the regional tourism office is planning to ask boarding houses here to accommodate devotees who would come to see Pope Francis from Jan. 15 to 19 next year as hotels are already fully booked.


City Tourism Office (CTO) operations officer Ruby Balanyanto said the 47 hotels operating in this city might not be enough to accommodate the throngs of visiting devotees.


“The Pope’s visit will help boost our tourism industry aside from the fact that it will be a [spiritually] uplifting experience,” Balanyanto said, adding that the CTO is already coordinating with owners of boarding houses in the city to see if they have additional rooms to spare.

200 boarding houses

There are more than 200 boarding houses in Tacloban, but a lot of them are still undergoing repair after being damaged during the onslaught of Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”

Private homes are also expected to accommodate visitors during the five-day papal visit, the first ever for Eastern Visayas, which is still reeling from the aftermath of the killer typhoon.

The Archdiocese of Palo has yet to announce the venue of the papal Mass. Among those being considered are the government center in Palo town and a paved area near Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in Tacloban.

Palo is considered the seat of Catholicism in Eastern Visayas because this is where the archbishops reside.


Inquiries from US

Pinky Cinco, manager of Leyte Park Hotel, said preparations for the papal visit were already in progress, even as the hotel had received several inquiries abroad for room accommodation.

“We are getting inquiries from the United States. Some of them, who hail from Tacloban, are coming here not only for the papal visit but also to see the city after Yolanda,” Cinco said.

She said there were plans to convert the hotel’s function rooms and six dorms into rooms for tourists to augment its 86 rooms and six villas.


Tacloban getting ready for papal visit

Tacloban hotels already fully booked for papal visit

Vatican inspects papal visit sites


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TAGS: papal visit, Pope Francis, Tacloban City

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