After two years of being confined indoors and a year of revenge travels across the globe, the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) announced that the country welcomed more than two million foreign tourists in 2022. As restrictions continue to ease this year, the DOT hopes to revitalize the tourism and hospitality sector.
Newly-elected Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) Philippines President Loleth So (Belmont & Savoy Hotel Manila Area Director of Sales and Marketing) is optimistic that there’ll be continuous growth in the industry within the year.
“Domestic tourism is very strong right now. Although inbound, I would say, is starting to come in. It’s not as strong as pre-pandemic levels yet. But we are hopeful,” the HSMA President for 2023 to 2024 said.
This year, they’re focusing on driving revenues toward their hotels and resorts while building a sense of community among their members. So shared that the tourism industry is an immense sector, with the hotel only a minimal part of the equation, which is why the HSMA and its members must work together.
Coincidentally, the pandemic prompted hotels and travel agencies to focus on the domestic market, which supported the industry.
“Based on our January numbers, we’ve already gone over pre-pandemic levels. That’s how positive it’s looking,” So shared.
HSMA’s first revenue-generating event for 2023 is the Philippine Tour Operators Association-Hotel Sales and Marketing Association Travel Exchange (PHILTOA-HSMA TravEx) on March 28 and 29. The two-day event features over 150 HSMA properties engaging in tabletop business with more than 100 PHILTOA members to boost domestic travel through destinations and services.
Travelers can also look forward to HSMA’s signature event, the September Online Sale (SOS), which is the organization’s response to the impact of the pandemic on travel and tourism in 2020. So promises a more holistic experience for travelers as SOS is now open to HSMA’s operators and airlines.
Also leading the charge alongside So is HSMA Chair Margarita Munsayac (Bluewater Resorts VP of Sales and Marketing) and newly-elected members, including Vice President Cristina Carreon (Manila Marriott’s Marketing Director of Sales and Distribution), Secretary Amie Villena (Four Points Sheraton Palawan Director for Sales and Marketing), Treasurer Desiree Rose de Guzman (Astoria Hotels and Resorts Corporate Director of Sales and Marketing), Public Relations Director Cielo Reboredo (Okada Manila Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Hospitality and Entertainment), Director for Membership Tet Romualdo (General Manager of the Linden Suites), Director for Education Lynette Ermac (Megaworld Hotels and Resorts Group Director of Sales and Marketing), Director for Ways and Means Wenie Maligaya (Newport World Resorts’ Director of Sales and Marketing), and Director for Programs Jennylyn Santillan (City of Dreams Manila Director of Sales and Marketing).
The HSMA is a premier organization of hotel sales and marketing leaders in the Philippines, composed of heads of sales and marketing executives of accredited hospitality properties in the country. It currently has 150 members nationwide.
With HSMA’s innovative ideas and persistence in keeping Philippine tourism globally competitive, 2023 might just be the year for domestic tourism to promote local culture.