Search for best hoteliers in PH under way

Published October 8, 2020, 11:40 PM

by Hanah Tabios

Virtus Awards, the premier event of the Philippines’ hotel sales and marketing industry, is once again searching for the country’s best hoteliers.

Winners of the 2019 Virtus Awards
(Photo from Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) Philippines)

Now in its sixth year, new citations have been added to the prestigious Virtus Awards to reflect the challenging realities brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event is organized by the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) Philippines in partnership with the Department of Tourism (DoT) and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB).

Aside from the three individual categories – Outstanding Sales and Marketing Associate, Outstanding Sales and Marketing Manager, and Outstanding Sales and Marketing Leader – the organizers are also looking for champions of Resilience Awards.

The special award was created to recognize the contributions of individuals, teams, and group properties in addressing the challenges of the pandemic since the government-imposed lockdown in March.

“It is a timely reminder of the determination, innovation, and commitment of hotel sales and marketing professionals across the country who have been working extremely hard to reopen, to welcome guests back safely, and to continue to provide excellent service,” HSMA chair Margarita Munsayac said during the media launch Thursday.

She unique awards are created to give a nod to individuals or teams whose extraordinary efforts to address the market difficulties made an impact.

The organizers believe that Virtus is one of the best ways they can show solidarity with their colleagues.

“We still wanted to show the industry that whatever crisis we go through, we can weather it with grit and grace. We still have the strength, resolve, and courage to face difficulties head on,” HSMA president Christine Ann Ibarreta said.

According to Rose Libongco, chair of the Virtus Awards, it is highly important to continue with this tradition because the HSMA, despite all the hurdles it encountered these past few months, has continued to be active and made itself needed by the customers and stakeholders.

The hotel industry, as part of the tourism sector, never ceased operations even during the whole community quarantine period to serve the returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs), and even those working in the frontline industries.

“I believe that the strongly-ingrained Filipino traits of care, hospitality, and service will lead to the revival of the hospitality industry in the Philippines,” Guillermo Luz, Chief Resilience Officer and advisor of the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation and chair of the Livable Cities Challenge, said in his keynote speech.

“This is why I am so pleased that HSMA has added two new special categories recognizing Champions of Resilience. It is both timely and inspiring,” he added.

Interested parties may send their entries until Oct. 31. Winners will be announced during the live presentation on Dec. 7.