Champions of Resilience in Philippine tourism industry: Virtus Awards pushes through amid pandemic
This file photo shows the awards night of Virtus Awards in 2017.
Champions of Resilience in Philippine tourism industry: Virtus Awards pushes through amid pandemic
Rosette Adel ( - October 8, 2020 - 10:18pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Hotel Sales and Marketing Association proves that its resilience is pandemic-proof as it decided to push through with its annual tradition of Virtus Awards that recognizes the most exceptional hotel marketing professionals in the country.

For its sixth edition, the HSMA created special awards, the “Champions of Resilience Awards,” that will recognize and edify stories of resilience, creativity, and survival among the hospitality industry amid the market challenges brought by COVID-19.

"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.  

HSMA president Christine Ann Ibarreta, on the other hand, said the Virtus Awards is the best way they can show solidarity with their colleagues.

Virtus Awards chair Rose Libongco likewise stressed that it is important to continue with the tradition despite the difficulties encountered in the past months because the HSMA also continued to serve its customers and stakeholders.

"Anyone can imagine that it was easy to give in to despair and frustration when travel had stopped, governments imposed quarantines, new standards of hygiene and customer care were imposed, and no cure was in sight. But thankfully, sales and marketing people are endowed with an indomitable spirit. When down and out, Sales & Marketing get up and roll in, when pushed against a wall, they break the wall; when down in the dumps, they dig for the gold. Sales and Marketing continue to be the lifeblood for the company -always working, thinking, creating, never giving up,” Libongco said.

“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,” she added.

Like the previous editions of the acclaimed awards, there would be three outstanding individual awards for the associate, manager, and leader that will be given.

Individual awards for the Sales and marketing Department (Room Sales, Events Management, Catering, Reservations, Public Relations and Communications, Revenue Management) will have three categories namely Outstanding Sales and Marketing Associate; Outstanding Sales and Marketing Manager; and Outstanding Sales and Marketing Leader.

An HSMA-member property with the Most Oustanding Marketing Campaign of the Year will also be given the institutional award.

“The campaign should be built on a single, unified theme, and should use at least two different types of medi,” the HSMA said.

For the Champions of Resilience Award for COVID-19 response, Munsayac said two winners will be chosen, an individual property or group properties with the best COVID-19-related marketing communications strategy and an individual or team who implemented initiatives/projects/endeavors in the course of their work as hotel sales and marketing professionals that reflect creativity and resilience in making the hotel experience safe and mitigating the impact of COVID-19.

The HSMA said there will be roster of reputable justice who finally award the winners.

Ibarreta said judges will decide on November 7.

Winners of this prestigious award will be announced during the live presentation slated December 7.

The event will be held with a limited number of guest and with health protocols in place.

It will be streamed live at a minimal cost of P500 per person.

"We enjoin everyone to look long and hard, to choose your entries and ensure you do not overlook anyone. At no other time in our history is it more fitting to recognize outstanding performance and contribution under trying circumstances,” Libongco said.

The 6th Virtus Awards is spearheaded by HSMA,  in partnership with the Department of Tourism and its marketing arm Tourism Promotions Board Philippines

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