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‘Breakthrough 2022’: Virtus Awards for hospitality industry launched |

Travel and Tourism

‘Breakthrough 2022’: Virtus Awards for hospitality industry launched

Rosette Adel -
âBreakthrough 2022â: Virtus Awards for hospitality industry launched
This photo shows HSMA chair Margie Munsayac, HSMA president Benjie Martinez, DTI-TIPG Assistant Secretary Rosvi Gaetos, and Virtus chair Rose Libongco at the 8th Virtus Awards launch at Kingsford Hotel on April 28, 2022/
HSMA / Released

MANILA, Philippines — With the tourism and travel industry slowly getting back on its feet amid the relaxed restrictions on movement, a hotel group seeks to highlight the endeavor of the hospitality professionals through its annual Virtus Awards.

The Hotel Sales and Marketing Association launched the Virtus Awards at the Kingsford Hotel Manila in Pasay City last Thursday. This was started in 2015.

Now on its eighth cycle, Virtus Awards recognizes exceptional hotel sales and marketing professionals in the country.

This year, the awards adopted the theme 'Breakthrough 2022,' to signify the unwavering optimism of the hospitality industry and how they hurdled the worst amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The past two years presented prolonged and intertwined obstacles that obscured the vision to advance sales and market planning. This year, we are starting to break barriers as we see a sustained recovery from our heavily impacted tourism sector,” HSMA president Benjamin Martinez said in his opening speech.

“With the downgrading of alert levels and acceptance of fully vaccinated domestic and foreign visitors in hotels and resorts across the country, guest room occupancy has improved, booked functions are increasing and jobs are restored. With these breakthroughs, our hopes are high that we are truly on the road to recovery,” he added.

Rose Libongco, chair of the Virtus Awards, also the HSMA founding officer and past resident, on the other hand, said that this year’s theme is apt with light glimmering and seen at the distance.

“This year, HSMA is adopting “Breakthrough 2022” as the theme for its numerous projects including the 8th Virtus Awards that has kept us going during these tumultuous years,” Libongco said.

“Expect HSMA to explode with new offers to delight guests and allow them to be reinvigorated with new purpose thus living to the fullest and achieving balance between work and leisure. Here is a turning point that is presented. We cannot afford not to take this chance to separate from the past, change the course and leap towards better and brighter,” she added.

HSMA then called for entries to the 8th Virtus Awards that will honor the best in the hospitality industry. The deadline for submission is set on August 31 while the winners will be announced at a live ceremony in October.

Virtus Awards is supported by the Department of Tourism, Tourism Promotions Board Philippines, and Atlantis; with the special participation of Bambunet and Kingsford Hotel Manila.

Aside from Virtus Awards, Martines said the 130-strong HSMA members and the stakeholders can look forward to two other major events of the group.

The first one is the return of the travel sale called “September Online Sale.”

This year, Martinez said SOS will now offer tour packages apart from the usual discounted rooms, food and beverage products and ancillary services.

The hotel group is also set to stage the first Philippine Tourism and Hospitality Summit in November.

"It's time to snap out of the shackles of the ‘safe only’ discipline of the past years and focus on better, livelier options that hotels and resorts can offer to families, gatherings for leisure and business,” Libongco said.

 "HSMA will release the tension and tedious controls to serve new schemes, delights in pursuing fun, fantasy and new hopes to allow us to dream again," she added.

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