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16th April 2024

HSMA continues recognising best of the best in hotel sales and marketing for Virtus 2019


Sen. Joel Villanueva joins the HSMA board and Virtus Awards organizers in the celebration of HSMA’s 40th Anniversary. From left: Tet Romualdo (Director of Membership), Amie Villena (Director of Programs), Benjie Martinez (Vice President), Pearl Maclang (Director of PR), Rose Libongco (Chairperson), Christine Ibarreta (President), Margie Munsayac (Vice Chair), Carmela Bocanegra (Treasurer), and Joy de Mesa (Director of Ways and Means)

Hotel Sales and Marketing Association celebrates its 4oth year anniversary highlighting the success of its prestigious Virtus Awards, which, on its fifth year, has become the premier event for the Philippine hotel sales and marketing industry professionals.

The event was graced by Senator Joel Villanueva as the keynote speaker, and Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat who led the induction of the new HSMA Board of Directors for 2019-2021.

Giving his best wishes to the organization, Sen. Joel Villanueva remarked, “I am sure that the Virtus Awards will inspire young Filipinos to take up a career in the hotel and resorts industry. We have the innate hospitality and caring attitude make us naturally suited for it.”

This year, the Virtus returns to give due recognition to the country’s best of the best in hotel and sales and marketing—Outstanding Sales and Marketing Associate, Outstanding Sales and Marketing Manager, Outstanding Sales and Marketing Leader, and Outstanding Marketing Campaign of the Year

“Our member-properties’ top professionals deserve to be recognized in the national arena of travel tourism,” said Virtus Awards chair Rose Libongco, who takes the title of HSMA’s longest-serving president, as she was elected for multiple terms from 1982 till 2010.

“Pitting them in a reputable award-giving body sharpens the associates, hones their skills, and prepares them for the bigger challenges of the Philippines’ quickly evolving and growing hotel and resorts industry.”

It is the hope of HSMA that through these awards, more of their colleagues  will be inspired to do their part in promoting Philippine tourism, which they believe is strengthened by hotel sales.

“I believe that one of the main drivers in increasing tourist arrivals are the hotels and resorts in the country—and main drivers of these properties are the sales and marketing people,” imparted HSMA director Carmela Bocanegra. “The various  strategies employed by the private sector when it comes to selling the country are driven by sales and marketing. Participation in various trade shows, organizing our own properties’ sales calls and roadshows–these all contribute to the goal of increasing tourist arrivals. When we promote our properties, we automatically promote the Philippines.”

The Virtus, Bocanegra added, is HSMA’s best motivational tool for their colleagues in the industry. It was established by the organization after current president Christine Ann Ibarreta heard of HSMA International’s Adrian Awards in the United States. From Ibarreta’s big dream of 10 categories, she and the assocation’s officers trimmed down the list to four—a list they hope to slowly expand in the coming years.

Last year’s winners include Francis David of Hyatt City of Dreams for Outstanding Sales and Marketing Leader, Fatima Mationg of Makati Diamond Residences for Outstanding Sales and Marketing Manager, and Timothy Santso of Bellevue Hotels for Outstanding Sales and Marketing Associate. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar bagged Outstanding Marketing Campaign of the Year.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat (center) inducts Hotel Sales & Marketing Association’s new board of directors 2019-2021. (From left) Carmela Bocanegra (Treasurer), Benjie Martinez (Vice President), Christine Ibarreta (President), Pearl Maclang (Director of PR), Joy de Mesa (Director of Ways and Means), Tet Romualdo (Director of Membership) and Amie Villena (Director of Programs. Not in photo is Michael Jaey Albaña (Director of Education).

As in previous years, nominees for the individual Virtus Awards must be regular employees who have served in an HSMA member-property for at least one year, including the covered period of April 1, 2018 to March 30, 2019, and should have no past and/0r pending adminstrative or criminal case.

Nominators, on the other hand, must come from an HSMA member-property to ensure familiarity with the performance being cited. Entries may be sent online at www.hsma.online/virtus-awards or www.hsmaphilippines.com. Deadline of submission is on July 31. Winners will be announced on October 14 at the Virtus Awards 2019 Night at the Conrad Manila.

Today, HSMA is the premier organization of sales and marketing leaders in the Philippines travel and tourism industry, representing the hotels and resorts segement. It is in the forefront of providing hotel sales and marketing professionals with tools, insights, and expertise to remain current in the ever-evolving hotels and resorts industry.


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