From Luzon to Visayas to Mindanao, member hotels and resorts of the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) Philippines are confidently opening their doors to guests with what can be called an added safety armor: their over 15,000 fully vaccinated personnel.
The announcement comes at the heels of the second run of HSMA’s September Online Sale (SOS), which, like last year, offers discounted packages 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. The sale, done in partnership with the Department of Tourism (DoT), Tourism Promotions Board, Atlantis, iSentia, and Cebu Pacific Air, is ongoing until October. 15 at www.hsma.org.ph/sos.
Eighty (80) hotels and resorts across the country are part of this year’s SOS, with deals and discounts reaching as much as 70 percent off. “From a 15-day event, we’ve laid out 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,” says Benjie Martinez, HSMA president and area director of Sales and Marketing for Bayleaf Hotels.
Of all the staff in HSMA’s 125 member-properties, 98% have been vaccinated, says Loleth So, HSMA vice president, who has also been dubbed as the association’s “Vaccination Czarina.”
“I was very persistent about getting all of our member-properties access to the vaccine,” says So. “I made it a point to reach out to the human resources departments of the member-properties through a dedicated chat group so I would have the buy-in of the entire hotel.”
According to So, she has always been proactive about having all of their members inoculated; thankfully, getting their members onboard has been a relatively easy task since they first started the vaccination drive in March this year, since almost everyone was willing to get the jab so they could continue serving their customers safely.
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Through their collaborative partnerships with local government leaders, the DoT, the Metro Manila Development Authority led by the Metro Manila Council, the HSMA member-properties can see themselves reaching a 100-percent vaccination rate in the coming months, So confidently says.
HSMA’s vaccination drive is in line with the DoT’s “Safe Trip, Pinas” campaign, an initiative established with the interest of every Filipino’s health and safety in mind. Through this campaign, 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,” says Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat.
And for Filipinos who are now rediscovering the Philippines’ many tourism spots, So says their travel experience is now guaranteed an extra layer of security, thanks to vaccination programs such as HSMA’s. “Now you can say that you are protected at all fronts,” So says.
The September Online Sale (SOS) is one of the biggest online travel sale events of the year, with over 100 promotions and discounts from 80 hotels and resorts across the country. The event is also presented by the Department of Tourism – Philippines, Tourism Promotions Board Philippines, Atlantis, Isentia, and Cebu Pacific Air, the exclusive airline partner.