Safe Trip, Pinas: S.O.S. Travel Sale to Support Pandemic-Hit Tourism Industry
Last year, the unprecedented blow of the COVID 19 pandemic caused global economic distress and the Tourism sector experienced one of the most devastating setbacks as one of the hardest hit industries.
Revenues dropped to all time low as hotels cut their room rates relying mainly on quarantined Returning Overseas Filipinos and Overseas Filipino Workers.
The closing of international and domestic borders and airports, the cancellation of flights, restrictions on mass gatherings and the disruption in the operations of restaurants, tourist attractions and transportation crippled the industry.
The Hotel Sales and Marketing Association’s (HSMA) united the industry to come up with the first ever September Online Sale a symbolic S.O.S. that sought to revive interest in the Hospitality Industry
They partnered with Atlantis, a digital travel solution company and supported by the Department of Tourism (DOT), Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) and Isentia and the campaign was able to successfully sell accommodation packages totaling to 14M in gross revenues.
Hoping to duplicate or even surpass last year’s campaign, the HSMA brings back SOS again to give local tourists a chance to buy hotel accommodation and dining vouchers at markdown rates and prove the resiliency of the industry.
The Bayanihan spirit may be the most beautiful thing to emerge from the pandemic. In a time of unknowns, health risks, and economic adversities, communal unity and resilient positivity became the lifeline of many struggling individuals and industries.
The tourism industry, for one, was hardest hit by the pandemic. Last year, 4.8 million workers in the tourism industry either lost their jobs or got their salaries cut, said Philippine Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat. With the tourism industry contributing a significant 12.7 percent to the Philippine economy, there is much at stake not just for the country, but for millions of Filipinos who work in the industry.
To help revive tourism and encourage Filipinos to rediscover local destinations, the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) is bringing back last year’s big travel sale hit: the S.O.S. or September Online Sale.
SOS 2021 is an online sale of various hotel vacation and food & beverage packages which the public can access by visiting the HSMA website via the link hsma.org.ph/sos from September 15 to October 15, 2021. The discounted packages are sold in the form of e-vouchers that can be used in a span of a year from the date of purchase, and may be extended upon request.
Eighty (80) hotels and resorts across the country will be participating in this year’s SOS, putting up deals and discounts at as much as 70% off. Building on the success of last year’s inaugural SOS, HSMA is looking forward to making this year more meaningful for both hoteliers and travelers.
“From a 15-day event, we’ve planned a month-long travel mart. We are also including the ancillary services of the properties such as restaurants, bars, banquet packages, spa, gym and pool, and other facilities of the hotel, making this year’s campaign more thrilling and inviting,” said Benjie Martinez, HSMA President and Area Director of Sales & Marketing for Bayleaf Hotels.
The inaugural SOS held last year was one of the many projects initiated by the local hotel association in response to the COVID crisis. The event sold almost 2,000 vouchers, which brought in much-needed revenue for the participating hotels and resorts’ operations and upkeep, keeping millions of Filipinos employed in the sector.
An investment of hope
The HSMA believes that SOS will empower Filipinos to make an investment of hope—not just in their future travels, but in the future of the industry and the country as well.
“This is our chance to extend a helping hand to the travel sector, so that they may regain their footing and continue serving the Filipino people through essential quarantine accommodations and leisure services. This is also a kind of victory over the pandemic, that we are seizing the opportunity to rediscover and reconnect with the beauty of our country,” said Margie Munsayac, HSMA Board Chair and Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Bluewater Resorts.
This circles back to the call for “Bayanihan to Heal as One”—ratified as Republic Act No. 1146 in March 2020—which manifests not just through the initiatives of the private and public sectors, but also through the individual contribution of each Filipino.
“This pandemic brought out the best and the inner hero in each of us. Through the spirit of Bayanihan, we are able to stand behind and support each other to survive. We have demonstrated what Filipinos can do. Together, we can look forward to traveling again and experiencing the Philippines soon,” said Michael Albaña, HSMA Director for Programs and Commercial Director for Conrad Manila.
Have a safe trip, Pinas!
True to the call of the Department of Tourism’s (DoT) new campaign, “Have a Safe Trip, Pinas,” SOS hopes to contribute to the momentum of local tourism recovery by boosting public confidence and driving anticipation for travel. Inoculation of the Philippine public and workers from the country’s key tourism destinations is the first step to strengthen this drive.
At least fourteen million (14M) Filipinos are already fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Vaccine doses are also being sent to areas identified by the government as highly dense tourist destinations such as NCR, Boracay, Bohol, Metro Cebu, and Palawan.
In the interest of every Filipino’s health and safety, the DoT is working with hotels and resorts to implement strict protocols and precautionary measures set by the World Health Organization (WHO) to make travel safe for both guests and employees.
“Inoculating our tourism front-liners all over the country will be a key factor in reopening the industry, as well as restoring the public’s confidence to travel, translating to higher socio-economic activities and boosting our recovery prospects. I call for public and private entities to practice the Bayanihan spirit in furthering the vaccination of our tourism workers,” said Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat.
Rediscovering the Philippines
Available during the SOS travel sale are more than a hundred packages and up to 70% off in discounts from key destinations within Metro Manila and throughout the country, including: Manila, Pasay, Parañaque, Ortigas, Pasig, Quezon City, Makati, BGC, Alabang, Cavite, Laguna, Bataan, Clark, Ilocos, Baguio, Boracay, Iloilo, Cebu, Bohol, Palawan, and Davao.
For a quick weekend getaway without having to venture far, hotels within the greater Metro Manila area have come together to offer an urban sanctuary in the middle of the metro: The Peninsula Manila is welcoming back families and couples with an overnight package inclusive of breakfast and complimentary late check-out starting at P6,000 nett. Travelers can also enjoy a complimentary room upgrade and buffet breakfast on an overnight stay at Conrad Manila, or get up to 3,000 pesos off on an overnight stay at a 3-bedroom suite at The Linden Suites.
Other participating NCR properties with staycation deals, F&B credits, and other exciting offers include: Acacia Hotel Manila, Astoria Plaza,Crimson Hotel Filinvest City, Discovery Primea, Dusit Thani Manila, Holiday Inn and Suites Makati, New World Makati Hotel, Oxford Suites Makati, Seda Residences Makati, Grand Hyatt, Seda BGC, Shangri-La at The Fort, The Bellevue Manila, Bayview Park Hotel, Diamond Hotel Philippines, Hotel Lucky Chinatown, Sheraton Manila Bay, The Bayleaf Intramuros, Winford Manila Resort and Casino, JEN Manila by Shangri-La, Manila Marriott Hotel, Okada Manila, Kingsford Hotel Manila, Microtel Wyndham Mall of Asia, Edsa Shangri-La, Joy~Nostalg Hotel & Suites Manila, Richmonde Hotel Ortigas, Discovery Suites, Ace Hotel and Suites, Eastwood Richmonde Hotel, B Hotel Quezon City, and Park Inn by Radisson North Edsa.
Beyond Metro Manila, the September Online Sale features attractive vacation deals in popular destinations in North and South Luzon such as Baguio, Ifugao Province, Ilocos, Bataan, Clark Pampanga, Laguna, Cavite and Batangas. There’s Marriott Hotel Clark’s special rates for Quan Spa and complimentary access to the fitness center and pool, or Quest Hotel Tagaytay’s rest and relax package inclusive of an overnight stay with kawa bath and massage, while The Bayleaf Cavite’s Buy-one, Get-one room package comes with complimentary breakfast and pool use.
Other participating resorts and hotels within Luzon include: Quest Plus Conference Center Clark, Grand Sierra Pines Hotel in Baguio, Banaue Hotel and Youth Hostel in Ifugao, Vitalis Villas in Ilocos Sur, Rancho Bernardo Luxury Resort in Bagac, Bataan, Acuatico Beach Resort and Hotel, Acuaverde Beach Resort in Batangas, Seda Nuvali in Sta Rosa Laguna, and Summit Ridge Tagaytay, and Twin Lakes Hotel in Tagaytay.
Those longing for sand, sea, and sun will have so much to discover across the Visayas region. Experience ultimate luxury at great prices at Crimson Resort & Spa Mactan, which comes with complimentary P2,000 in F&B credits and 40% off AUM Spa services. Don’t miss the chance to book an overnight stay at Bluewater Maribago at over 60% off, or grab the super affordable day tour promo at The Bellevue Resort Bohol, inclusive of pool and beach access, aqua sports facilities, and F&B credits.
Other featured promotions during the 30-day sale will come from these member resorts and hotels located in Cebu and Bohol: Best Western Plus; The Ivywall Resort-Panglao; Mithi Resort and Spa; Shangri-La Mactan; Marco Polo Plaza Cebu; BE Resort Mactan; Quest Hotel and Conference Center Cebu; Savoy Hotel Mactan; Waterfront Cebu City; and Waterfront Airport Mactan.
In the past years, Palawan has taken the ‘Best Island in the World’ title—and for good reason. Let Astoria Palawan take you to the most beautiful islands and rock formations, as you take advantage of their overnight room promotion of three (3) nights for the price of two. You can also grab the lowest rates from Club Paradise Palawan or enjoy 20% off spa services at Bacau Bay Resort Coron.
Other properties in Palawan and Davao offering good deals and discounts include: Miniloc Island Resort; Dusit D2 Davao; Dusit Lubi Plantation; and Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao.
For the ultimate dream vacation, come back to the crystal-clear waters and stunning white sand of the newly rehabilitated Boracay. Enjoy amazing discounts with longer stays at Crimson Boracay and Astoria Current, both offering a 3-night accommodation package for the price of two. For a family getaway, overnight packages at Hue Hotels and Resorts and Movenpick Resort & Spa include complimentary transfers, F&B credits, restaurant and spa discounts, and special activities.
Rediscover the beauty of Boracay and neighboring Iloilo through these participating properties: Alta Vista de Boracay; Astoria Current; Belmont Hotel Boracay; Feliz Hotel Boracay; Le Soleil de Boracay Hotel; Paradise Garden Resort Hotel & Convention Center; Patio Pacific Boracay; Richmonde Hotel Iloilo; Discovery Shores Boracay; and Shangri-La Boracay Resort & Spa.
HSMA’s SOS is presented in partnership with the Department of Tourism, Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), Atlantis, Isentia, with Cebu Pacific as airline partner. Together, these groups are not just making travel possible again for Filipinos who deserve a break from the pandemic, but also creating an avenue for resorts and hotels across the country to survive the challenging months to come.
“HSMA has always been at the forefront of helping the hotel industry and with SOS, we will continue to strive and ensure that marketing efforts for our hotels are still happening despite the current very challenging situation. We hope the SOS will be that spark to bring the hotel industry back to life,” said Carmela Bocanegra, HSMA Director of Public Relations and Vice President for Sales and Marketing of Chroma Hospitality.
Be a part of the resurgence of the travel industry and book your much-deserved vacation now. Visit the HSMA website at www.hsma.org.ph/sos for the full list of participating hotels and resorts, and their available offers and packages.
HSMA’s September Online Sale (SOS) will run from September 15 to October 15, 2021. All purchased vouchers are valid for one year from date of purchase and can be extended depending on the hotel or resort. Packages may be availed through secured online payment platforms including GCash, PayMaya, and GrabPay.
To stay updated on all things SOS, follow HSMA’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HSMAPH and Instagram account at @HSMAPhilippines.
The Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) Philippines is the premier organization of hotel sales and marketing leaders in the Philippines. It was established in 1979 at an informal gathering of directors of sales and marketing of top Metro Manila hotels, growing over the years to become an organization of 140 hotel and resort properties nationwide.
HSMA was an active stakeholder in the 6-month rehabilitation of Boracay, functioning as a mouthpiece for affected resort owners and workers in the island, and worked with the DOT to house the athletes during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, HSMA pressed on with a myriad of trademark events in 2020 such as the 6th Virtus Awards and the inaugural SOS to restore domestic tourism confidence and stimulate demand.
Today, HSMA continues to be a trailblazer in the tourism industry through the leadership of Board Chair Margie Munsayac (Bluewater Resorts), President Benjie Martinez (The Bayleaf Hotels), Vice President Loleth So, Secretary Amie Villena (The Bellevue Hotels and Resorts), Treasurer Desiree Rose de Guzman (Astoria Hotels and Resorts), Director for Membership Ma. Celeste Romualdo (The Linden Suites), Director for Programs Michael Albaña (Conrad Manila), Director for Ways & Means Cristina Carreon (Marriott Hotel Manila), and Director for Education Joanne Golong Gomez (Hilton Manila Hotel), Director for Public Relations Carmela Bocanegra (Chroma Hospitality).