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Travel giants PHILTOA and HSMA join forces  to ‘jumpstart’ tourism in the biggest industry event of the year

In this year’s edition, the Travel Exchange will see HSMA’s over 80 properties engaging in tabletop business with over 100 of PHILTOA’s members and allied members, as they discover and form synergies to boost domestic travel through their destinations and services. The two-day event is expected to “jumpstart tourism.”

As part of its recovery efforts for the travel and tourism industry, the Hotel Sales and Marketing (HSMA) of the Philippines sealed its partnership with the Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA) to kick off preparations for the upcoming Travel Exchange 2023, which is designed to be this year’s largest platform for hotels, resorts, theme parks, tour operators, and agencies to create innovative travel experiences for both Filipinos and visitors from other countries. The inaugural B2B fair is slated on March 28-29, 2023 at the MGBx of the Manila Marriott Hotel. 

“Our membership is basically nationwide; be it a business hotel or a leisure resort, we have that in our portfolio. In PHILTOA, they have all sorts of travel agents that cater to different markets, and I think it’s such an opportune time for this partnership because the global market is starting to breathe again,” said Loleth So, HSMA president and area director of Sales & Marketing, Belmont & Savoy Hotel Manila (Megaworld Hotels & Resorts).

The partnership is a first for both HSMA and PHILTOA, which saw fit to merge their organizations together to also further help industry players affected by the pandemic recover and restart their businesses.

“Tour operators and hotels are a perfect click,” said So. “As far as the hotels are concerned, we will encourage them [to offer special packages] because this is the market that we want to already talk to; we won’t have to go out anymore on sales calls!”

So added that the event will also help them come up with offers that will truly give their guests the local flavor that they want during their stay since many of PHILTOA’s members are small tour operators who are experts at creating these kinds of experiences.

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“As an association, we really want to help our tour operators, especially those who are just starting and don’t know whom to talk to in the hotel side of things,” said Fe Abling-Yu, PHILTOA President. “During the pandemic, these operators really grew the local market–everybody learned to sell domestically.”

The PHILTOA partnership and the Travel Exchange are new additions to HSMA’s annual roster of exciting activities, the most famous of which is the group’s flagship September Online Sale (S-O-S)—also established as a response to the impact of the pandemic on travel and tourism. Also coming up this year is the 9th HSMA Virtus Awards, the most prestigious recognition given to outstanding sales and marketers of the group’s member hotels and resorts.

About HSMA Philippines

The Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) is the premier organization of hotel sales and marketing leaders in the Philippines. Its members were  heads of sales and marketing executives of accredited hospitality properties located in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Currently, HSMA has over 130  members nationwide.

About PHILTOA

The Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA), Inc. is an organization of tour operators and allied members actively involved in the advocacy of responsible tourism. Founded on 12 June 1986, non-stock and non-profit organization. The membership includes travel agencies, hotels, resorts, transportation companies, handicraft stores, and other tourism-oriented establishments and associations.

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