Committed to nurture and empower Filipino hoteliers to become world-class leaders, Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) held its first Hotel Sales & Marketing Summit on October 12 at Manila Marriott Hotel in Pasay City.
With the theme “Elevate the Game: Taking the Lead Towards Global Competitiveness,” the summit invited a distinguished roster of speakers, industry stalwarts, and thought leaders who shared their insights, wisdom, and vision for the hospitality sector.
The summit aimed to equip sales and marketing leaders with the skills required to manage the demands of the hotel industry and to improve the country’s travel and tourism as a whole. “The market landscape is always changing. If you will not adapt or evolve, you will become a Nokia,” Loleth So, the President of HSMA and Area Director of Sales and Marketing at Megaworld Hotels and Resorts, said.
The summit kickstarted with keynote speech from Margarita M. Nograles, Chief Operating Officer of the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), about how “Tourism is Everyone’s Business.” Her words set the stage for a day of enlightenment and growth, focusing on the indispensable role of tourism and hospitality in the broader landscape.
This is followed by an insightful talk from Benito Bengzon Jr., the Executive Director of the Philippine Hotel Owners Association (PHOA), who led a discussion about “Hospitality Stakeholders’ Initiatives Towards Global Competitiveness.”
The subsequent panel discussion, “Driving Global Competitiveness Through an Elevated Filipino Brand of Service,” featured luminaries from the industry and deftly moderated by Cleofe Albiso, Managing Director of Megaworld Hotels & Resorts. Bruce Winton of Marriott International, James Montenegro from Chroma Hospitality Inc., Philip Barnes of The Ascott Limited Philippines, Bobby Horrigan of Horrigan Hospitality Services, Inc., and Peggy Angeles of SM Hotels and Conventions Corporation, sat on the panel and shared their insights and experiences.
Throughout the day, the summit tackled an array of pertinent subjects in hospitality. Jonathan Ravelas, Managing Director at eManagement for Business and Marketing Services (EMBM), shed light on “Business Outlook: Recovery in the Hospitality Industry from the Perspective of an Economist.” Wilma Estaura, Group Director of Human Resources at Ayala Hotels and Resorts, engaged the audience in a discourse on “Developing Globally Competitive Filipino Hoteliers—Strategic, Efficient, and Entrepreneurial.”
Chris Legaspi, Vice President for Archipelago Hotels and Resorts, delved into “Navigating Hotel Distribution Challenges with Technology and Strategy,” while Dr. Donald Patrick Lim, COO of DITO CME, unveiled the latest “Digital Trends in the Hospitality Industry.” Tejveer Singh Bedi, Head of Travel and Tourism, SEA, TikTok, headed an intriguing session on “The Power of Short Form Videos for Hotels.”
The summit concluded with one final panel discussion, tackling the “Career Journey of Industry Leaders: The Lessons, the Wins, and Everything in Between.” Moderated by Carmela Bocanegra, Vice President of Chroma Hospitality, Inc., this discussion showcased the personal and professional odysseys of some of the industry’s esteemed Directors of Sales and Marketing namely, Cathy Nepomuceno of Discovery Hospitality, Agnes Pacis from SM Hotels and Conventions Corporation, Joy de Mesa of Robinsons Hotels and Resorts, and Sophia “Khendy” Altamirano, Market Director of Sales and Distribution and National Director of Sales for Marriott Philippines.
Indeed, it was a day of learning, collaboration, and, above all, an inspiring journey toward global competitiveness. The first Hotel Sales and Marketing Summit is a testament to the Philippine hospitality industry’s relentless pursuit of excellence.