Hotel group celebrates hospitality industry resilience at 8th Virtus Awards

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com
Hotel group celebrates hospitality industry resilience at 8th Virtus Awards
HSMA board members are joined by winners of the 8th Virtus Awards in this photo taken Oct. 25, 2022 at Okada Manila, Entertainment City, Parañaque City.
Philstar.com / Rosette Adel

MANILA, Philippines — The Hotel Sales and Marketing Association last Tuesday concluded the eighth edition of Virtus Award to recognize the endeavor of hospitality professionals.

The annual awards night that brought together hotel sales and marketing professionals in the country was held at Okada Manila, Entertainment City, Parañaque City. The guests are comprised of the HSMA Board of Directors, esteemed jurors, Virtus nominees, HSMA members and members of the press.

During this, not only outstanding hospitality professionals were recognized but also the industry’s resilience also took a spotlight.

In his speech, outgoing HSMA president Benjie Martinez cited that 2022 has seen remarkable stories of the hospitality industry’s resilience.

“We are breaking free from the pandemic but the challenges continue as we struggle to bring back the pre-pandemic sales and market demands.  We are called upon to be more resourceful, to think out of the box, and to be able to pivot faster,” he said.

Martinez also announced that HSMA’s month-long September Online Sale successfully concluded after it generated P35 million in gross sales. A total of 78 member hotels and resorts participated in the online sale.

“We now celebrate milestones, breakthroughs and excellence in the hotels and resorts industry,” he said.

The HSMA president congratulated all the finalists for embracing the opportunities and pursuing the business for their properties despite the challenges hounding the travel and tourism industry. He said they are worthy of the Virtus Awards.

The following were named winners during the 8th Virtus Awards:

Outstanding sales and marketing associate

  • Jhune Nin?o T. Calinawan - Banquet Sales Executive; Quest Hotel & Conference Center-Cebu

Outstanding sales and marketing manager

  • Marie Antonnette De Belen - Senior Sales Manager; Conrad Manila

Outstanding sales and marketing leader

  • Michelle Angeli Crudo - Director of Sales; Novotel Manila Araneta City

Outstanding marketing campaign

  • I Love Earth – Newport World Resorts

HSMA chair Rose Libongco likewise extended her congratulations to the Virtus Award winners.

“I extend hearty congratulations to the Virtus Awards Winners and I add a caveat that winning is far from the ultimate goal. The day one is declared a winner is not the pinnacle of success. It really is simply the start of your odyssey,” Libongco said in her speech.

“Everyday forward is your opportunity to prove that you are the right winner. Watchful eyes are on you to continue to demonstrate excellence in purpose, plan and action  thereby educating others directly, inspiring by example and converting others towards the philosophy of winning until you form a like-minded army who will make your objectives doable, replicate them and eventually perpetuate your ideals of success,” she added.

The HSMA said that Virtus Awards is an assurance that the industry would continue amid the unprecedented circumstances.

“We will be alright because individually and collectively we will carry on undaunted and united. In the process of organizing and executing the Virtus Awards, we honor the value of real-world learning, the exchange of best practices, the demonstration of productive sales interactions and skilled customer engagement, the display of enthusiasm amidst difficulties, the focus on solutions vs. problems, the can-do attitude rather than complacency or worse, defeat in the face of overwhelming difficulties,” she concluded.

Virtus Awards, with the theme “Breakthrough 2022,” is supported by the Department of Tourism, Tourism Promotions Board Philippines, and Atlantis.

The eighth cycle of Virtus Awards was the first in-person awards night in more than two years.

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