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Hotel Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMA) Launches Virtus Awards 2015

Virtus Awards 2015 Philippines
Who will make history and be the first Virtus Awardees?

Last March 28, 2015, Hotel Sales & Marketing Association (HSMA) launched the 2015 Virtus Awards at the Diamond Hotel Manila. The Virtus Awards will shine the spotlight back on Sales and Marketing in Hotel and Resorts and highlights the challenges and rewards inherent in the job. HSMA group are inviting you to take the Virtus Awards as a sales and incentive tool to excite your people and drive the bottom line. The Virtus Awards is looking for the best among the best; the individual or team who brings the sparks of genuineness, the genius in simplicity, and excellence in sales and marketing.

The Virtus Awards will be the biggest and most prestigious sales and marketing competition in the travel and tourism industry organized by the Hotel Sales & Marketing Association (HSMA), in partnership with the Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines. The awards will honor excellence in the three individual sales and marketing categories – Associate, Manager, Leader – covering positions in room sales, events management, catering reservation, public relations and communication, and revenue management. The multi-category initiative also recognizes a Marketing Campaign of the Year, built around a single, unified theme, using at least different types of media.

Virtus Awards 2015 Philippines
Ms. Margie Munsayac, President of HSMA

As what Margie Munsayac, President of HSMA said “We are excited to present the Virtus Awards, which we envisage to transform the mindset of sales and marketing professionals in our industry and set the tone for excellence. It brings to focus the key role they play in the country’s travel and tourism industry as they drive the bottom line value of their hotel properties and maximize return on investment.”
The Hotel Sales & Marketing Association (HSMA) is currently comprised of 60 hotel and resort properties nationwide in its roster of members; HSMA is committed to growing business for their members by fueling sales, inspiring marketing, and optimizing revenue.

With a strong focus on education, HSMA has become the industry champion in training and developing sales and marketing professionals through workshops, seminars and conferences with focus on selling skills, marketing trends, creativity, communication, change management, current events, economy, and travel forecasts.

Virtus Awards 2015 Philippines
Ms. Rose Libongco, Overall Chair for the Virtus Awards

Rose Libongco, overall Chair for the Virtus Awards, adds “The Virtus Award comes at a most opportune time. With the establishment of the ASEAN Community by 2015, the prioritization of the country’s travel and tourism industry opens a unique window of opportunity for local stakeholders to benefit from, as well as to cope with the challenges of regional integration.” The ASEAN tourism market is expanding steadily over the years, reaching 94 million in 2013, with more ASEAN nationals traveling around ASEAN countries. “The Virtus Awards aims to position Filipino sales and marketing professionals well in a wider marketplace as more properties open in the region and particularly in the Philippines.”

Virtus Awards 2015 Philippines
The Virtus Awards Founders with Mr. Ramon “Chicoy” Enerio III

The launch was attended Tourism Promotions Board COO Domingo Ramon “Chicoy” Enerio III, General Managers and Directors of Sales and Marketing of member hotel and resort properties, and members of the media. Mr. Ramon showcased the Tourism campaign Visit Philippines 2015 “It’s more fun in the Philippines”, showing all the activities they created to promote Philippine tourism in another country that will probably help the hotel, travel, and resort industries in our country as well.

Libongco also added in her speech that day, "that more and more hotel has just opened and even more are in the pipeline. The building boom is nationwide in response to the demand creative by lifestyle changes globally including those of the Filipinos which is the primary feeder market of Philippine Travel. We have long been fixated on international arrival with a forecast of 10 million in 2016 yet domestic travel in 2012 alone is listed at 25.7 million and only for those who at 15 years old and above. I wouldn’t be surprised if that number has grown exponentially in 3 years. This is good news for our travel industry and should a peace the treats of increasing competition. But it is also true that we have more hotels and blessed sales and marketing experts. Amid the rapid changes, the HSMA may taste that the hotel and sales marketing occupation is a most rewarding career to embark on. The long list of successful people who begun a Hotel and Sales Marketing includes;
Patrick Gregorio, chairman of the Philippine Basketball Association and the VP of Manila Water.

Al Legaspi is president of Ayala Hotels.
Peggy Angeles is Senior VP of SM Hotels and Convention.
Leny Fabul is executive director of the Hotel Owners Association.
Carlo Gomez who has been GM around Asia including the Philippines.
Pat Puyat Palanca from Intercontinental Hotel who is now manager of the Crown Plaza in Dubai.
Ichi Yabut also of from Intercontinental Hotel is councilor of Makati.
Henry Yeta Ho who has traversed New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, and China all with the top sales management of Intercontinental and the Hyatt Group.

They are exemplary personalities who started in Hotel and Sales Marketing and have climbed their way to success.

“To be in Hotel’s Sales Marketing we are looking for above average communicators, initiators, spirited personalities, persistent can do people, creative and superbly affable, success driven. Those who love challenges and find fulfillment in jobs well done. We are more than delighted to see our general managers today, I have almost proclaimed that the general manager is the first sales person in the property, they carry the flag highest, there are first in the front line, and has the best say on the programs and services of the hotel. “ adds Libongco.

The deadline of entries is on September 15, 2015. Stalwarts of the travel and tourism industry, members of the academe and thought leaders in the fields of advertising, public relations, media and digital marketing comprises the panel of judges. Judging of short-listed entries is set on October 15, 2015.

Nominate your colleague in Sales and Marketing and be them the first Virtus Awardees for the following categories:

Outstanding Sales and Marketing Associates
Outstanding Sales and Marketing Manager
Outstanding Sales and Marketing Leader
Outstanding Marketing Campaign of the Year

“The black-tie gala dinner on November 27, is a pinnacle celebration of this year’s first set of winners, expected to attract nearly 500 key influencers in the tourism and travel industry”, states Ms. Libongco.

To get more information for dates, nominations, and entry fees about the 2015 Virtus Awards, you can check their website at www.hsmaph.com. You may also call the awards Secretariat at telephone numbers (02) 926-0224, 514-5714 or e-mail at Virtusph@gmail.com.


Article and some photos were taken by Ace Paragoyo, Pinoy AdvenTurista's official representative to the "Virtus Awards 2015 launch" held last May 28, 2015 at Diamond Hotel, Manila.


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