For a few days in early December 2020, Cebu’s Plantation Bay Resort and Spa was in hot water over its founder’s response to a mother’s complaint about how her son, a child with autism, was treated by the hotel’s staff. Resident shareholder of the resort, Emmanuel “Manny” Gonzalez, had since issued an apology and even resigned from his post last December 15.
Two months after the controversy, the resort reports that its employees have attended its first Autism Sensitivity training following its commitment toward making the hotel services more inclusive.
Fifty-five employees of Plantation Bay joined the Autism-Inclusive Tourism webinar hosted by the Autism Society of the Philippines (ASP) last January 21.
"We aim to learn more about Inclusive Tourism in 2021, which is why we kickstarted the year by attending this training. From this, we can better understand and create a resort that is more inclusive through continued design and service improvements," says resort General Manager Cherry Allego.
According to its news release, the resort also enrolled 14 of its employees in a sign language training by the Philippine Accessible Disability Services, Inc. Resort staff and department managers are set to attend 12 sessions of the training this month.
In late December, the resort modified its booking and reservations procedures and remodeled one of its freshwater swimming pools with an unlimited noise level. Booking and reservations now include a more focused interface allowing guests to provide advance notice should a member of their group require special needs.
As for the remodeled freshwater swimming pool, the resort says it is exempt from the resort’s general ‘low noise level policy’ during allotted periods. This pool is in an enclosed, easy-to-monitor area to compensate for the increased safety risks posed by high noise levels.