Wanted: Best of the best in Hotel Sales and Marketing for Virtus 2019

10:54 AM May 22, 2019

Excellence—and nothing less.

Such is the demand of the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association’s prestigious Virtus Awards, which, on its fifth year, has become the premier event for the Philippines’ hotel sales and marketing industry professionals.

“Always be hungry for excellence; don’t be complacent with the present laurels–this is what we instill in our members through Virtus,” says HSMA vice president Benjie Martinez. “Our benchmark is always the best.”

This year, the Virtus returns to give due recognition to the country’s best of the best in hotel and sales and marketing. There are four awards: Outstanding Sales and Marketing Associate; Outstanding Sales and Marketing Manager; Outstanding Sales and Marketing Leader; and Outstanding Marketing Campaign of the Year.

“Our member-properties’ top professionals deserve to be recognized in the national arena of travel and tourism. Pitting them in a reputable award-giving body sharpens the associates, hones their skills, and prepares them for the bigger challenges of the Philippines’ quickly evolving and growing hotel and resorts industry,” says Virtus Awards chair Rose Libongco, who takes the title of HSMA’s longest-serving president, as she was elected for multiple terms from 1982 till 2010.

It is the hope of HSMA that through these awards, more of their colleagues will be inspired to do their part in promoting Philippine tourism, which they believe is strengthened by hotel sales.

“I believe that one of the main drivers in increasing tourist arrivals are the hotels and resorts in the country—and the main drivers of these properties are the sales and marketing people,” says HSMA director Carmela Bocanegra. “The various strategies employed by the private sector when it comes to selling the country are driven by sales and marketing. Participation in various trade shows, organizing our own properties’ sales calls and roadshows—these all contribute to the goal of increasing tourist arrivals. When we promote our properties, we automatically promote the Philippines.”

The Virtus, Bocanegra adds, is HSMA’s best motivational tool for their colleagues in the industry. It was established by the organization after current president Christine Ann Ibarreta heard of HSMA International’s Adrian Awards in the United States. From Ibarreta’s big dream of 10 categories, she and the association’s officers trimmed down the list to four—a list they hope to slowly expand in the coming years.

Last year’s winners include Francis David of Hyatt City of Dreams for Outstanding Sales and Marketing Leader; Fatima Mationg of Makati Diamond Residences for Outstanding Sales and Marketing Manager; and Timothy Santos of Bellevue Hotels for Outstanding Sales and Marketing Associate. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar bagged Outstanding Marketing Campaign of the Year.

As in previous years, nominees for the individual Virtus Awards must be regular employees who have served in an HSMA member-property for at least one (1) year, including the covered period of April 1, 2018 to March 30, 2019, and should have no past and/or pending administrative or criminal case.

Nominators, on the other hand, must come from an HSMA member-property to ensure familiarity with the performance being cited. Entries may be sent online at or  Deadline of submission is on July 31. Winners will be announced on October 14 at the Virtus Awards 2019 Night at the Conrad Manila.

The HSMA also celebrates this year their 40th anniversary, as well as the induction of their new board of directors for 2019-2021, to be led by Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.  The keynote speech will be delivered by Senator Joel Villanueva.

Organized in 1979 after a series of informal gatherings of the directors of sales of top Metro Manila hotels, HSMA counts over 120 hotels and resorts in the country as member-partners.

Today, HSMA is the premier organization of sales and marketing leaders in the Philippine travel and tourism industry, representing the hotels and resorts segment. It is at the forefront of providing hotel sales and marketing professionals with tools, insights, and expertise to remain current in the ever-evolving hotels and resorts industry.


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TAGS: Hotel Sales and Marketing Association, HSMA, Virtus Awards
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