Plantation Bay staff train in inclusive tourism after incident with guest


Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) – February 10, 2021 – 9:58pm
MANILA, Philippines — The employees of Plantation Bay Resort and Spa in Mactan recently took autism sensitivity and sign language training after drawing flak for mishandling an incident with a guest last December.

Fifty-five employees attended the autism-inclusive tourism webinar hosted by the Autism Society of the Philippines (ASP) last January 21. 

Meanwhile, 14 employees including resort staff and department managers were enrolled in a sign language training by the Philippine Accessible Disability Services, Inc. (PADSI) They will attend 12 sessions this month.

The Cebu luxury resort in December said it would implement a series of changes designed to improve handling, attention and leisure experience for guest with special needs including persons with disability and elderly.

“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,” the resort’s general manager Cherry Allego said.

Paul Ecarma Maunes, CEO of PADSI, said the organization appreciates the decision of the resort to enroll select staff in sign language training.

“We hope to see more institutions, especially in the tourism industry, to do the same,” Maunes said.

The resort’s resident shareholder Manny Gonzalez — he has since resigned —  earned the public’s ire, including ASP’s, over his harsh response to a review by a parent of a child with special needs.

Mishandling of bad review

Mai Pages, a mother to a six-year-old child complained via travel review website Trip Advisor, and wrote that they had a “discriminating” experience during their stay in the resort.

She lamented that the resort was “not an ideal place for a child with special needs.”

In a now-deleted comment, Gonzalez responded and  claimed that the mother is “most likely deliberately lying.”

Gonzalez also claimed that “uncontrolled shouting is not a symptom of autism.”

The DOT later launched a probe into this and coordinated with the Department of Justice for proper action under the Disability Law.

Gonzalez apologized for his “error of judgment” and tendered his resignation as resident shareholder last December 15.



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