‘Beyond the Bottom Line’: Philippine hospitality sector’s innovation, dedication feted at 9th Virtus Awards

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com
�Beyond the Bottom Line�: Philippine hospitality sector�s innovation, dedication feted at 9th Virtus Awards
This Nov. 9, 2023 photo shows the awardees and members of the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association at the 9th Virtus Awards held in City of Dreams, Parañaque.
HSMA / Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — Members of the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association once again gathered on Thursday evening to celebrate and acknowledge the Philippine hospitality industry’s best professionals and campaigns.

For its ninth edition, annual peer-recognition event Virtus Awards, had the theme “Beyond the Bottom Line” to urge hospital groups to be responsive to “shifting preferences and be flexible to future scenarios.”

This year, it recognized three winners for its individual categories namely Outstanding Sales and Marketing Associate, Outstanding Sales and Marketing Manager as well as Marketing Leader. Virtus Awards also gave an award for an Outstanding Marketing Campaign.

Loleth So, HSMA president, said that this year is rare as they had the biggest number of entries so far, with 49 nominees on the roster.

“Thank you for recognizing them, for recognizing your people because they are supported. All of them are winners already,” she said in her opening remarks.

The following emerged as winners in the celebrated event.

  • Outstanding Sales and Marketing Associate - Charles Patrick Estupin, Sales Manager of Crimson Filinvest City Manila
  • Outstanding Sales and Marketing Manager Award – Cesar Villaganas, Senior Sales Manager of Quest Hotel and Conference Center Cebu
  • Outstanding Sales and Marketing Leader - Karlene M. Capunitan, Director of Sales of The Ascott Limited
  • Outstanding Marketing Campaign award – Robinsons Hotels and Resorts’

The winning campaign was given recognition as its creative and flexible product offerings benefit various types of travelers including the planner, adventurer and the chatter.

The hotel group’s three product offerings are the following:

  • Go 24/7 – Allows travelers to pre-book early or late arrivals without additional cost while enjoying 24 hours of stay.
  • Go 365 – Allows travelers to book a hotel from 15 days to a maximum of 365 days in advance while securing the rate from the day of booking.
  • Go (Buy) Online – Allows travelers to easily book a room or purchase vouchers through a private message on Facebook Messenger and brand websites.

“Since we have a vast network of hotels and resorts stretching from Tuguegarao to General Santos City, we wanted to maximize. That’s why we created ‘Let’s Go, Go, Go’ as an encouragement for Filipinos and international travelers as well to go and explore more of the Philippines,” Nonito Antonio Cuizon, director of Marketing of Robinsons Hotels and Resorts, said, emphasizing their desire to align with the Department of Tourism’s goal to promote local tourism this year.

Service excellence, resilience

Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco lauded the HSMA for shining a spotlight on the excellence of hotel sales and marketing professionals who continue to propel the Philippine hospitality industry through Virtus Awards.

“I applaud HSMA for its commitment to fostering service excellence, and I encourage everyone to continue embracing innovation, pushing for high quality tourism products, and pursuing service excellence, as these are the building blocks of a thriving tourism sector that will contribute significantly to our nation's economic prosperity,” the tourism chief said.

“Congratulations to HSMA and to all the deserving winners of the 9th Virtus Awards. May your achievements continue to inspire others to excel and uplift the standards of the Philippine hospitality,” she added.

Tourism Promotions Board chief operating officer Marga Nograles likewise congratulated the Virtus Award recipients. She also commended HSMA for its appropriately timed and themed “Beyond the Bottom Line” that provides an avenue for industry professionals remain resilient and innovative to thrive amidst the challenges of a very competitive local and global travel landscape.

“We applaud the awardees and HSMA members for your dedication in promoting our country and enhancing the visitor experience,” Nograles said in a message for the occasion.

The 9th Virus Awards, held at the City of Dreams in Parañaque City, was organized by HSMA with the support of the DOT and its marketing arm TPB. It is also supported by Gold partners Atlantis, Isentia and City of Dreams Manila, along with Silver Partners Crimson Hotel Filinvest City Manila, Buoyant Industrial Systems, Inc.and Awards Night Cocktail Partner Destileria Limtuaco & Co. Inc.

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