Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat lauded the hospitality industry’s contribution to the steady growth of the Philippine tourism industry and economy over the years as it vowed to increase engagement with the private sector.
Romulo-Puyat made the statement during Monday’s Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) Virtus Awards where the best customer and business-focused strategies of Philippine hotels and resorts were feted.
She said the Philippine tourism is now a PHP2.2-trillion national industry that generates 12.7 percent of the country’s GDP and employs about 5.4 million people in passenger transport, accommodations, and food and beverages, among others.
“These achievements cement our point that the spectacular rise of Philippine tourism is the result not only of our work at the DOT; due credit must be given to all who help push us forward towards our goals–people and organizations like the HSMA,” she said.
At the event, she also praised HSMA’s continued support to the DOT in attaining its tourism development goals.
“As the DOT relies on the cooperation of all tourism stakeholders, we value the generosity and readiness of the HSMA Board to offer us counsel—drawing on their rich, invaluable collective marketing experience—as we formulate projects and policies that work and have tangible, measurable results,” she said in her speech.
“The zeal with which HSMA supported the DOT’s pilot Sales and Marketing Plan Workshops in Camiguin and Vigan are the most recent examples of our fruitful partnership,” she added.
Romulo-Puyat said the association continues its partnership with the DOT, offering executive and management level training programs to 2- and 3-star properties outside of Metro Manila.
“Indeed, tourism can only reach its full potential if there is cooperation, coordination, and collaboration between the government and the industry’s stakeholders. Tourism is our shared responsibility,” she noted.
HSMA hosted the 2019 Virtus Awards where outstanding hotel sales and marketing professionals and campaigns were recognized. The event coincides with its 40th anniversary.
The group was initially formed as an informal association of hospitality sales and marketing practitioners in Manila to put a system in the fast-expanding hotel industry as a result of the Philippine hosting of the World Bank IMF Conference.
“From only a handful of members in the late 70s to a country-wide organization with a say in national tourism industry policies today, we have so much to be thankful for,” HSMA president Christine Ibarreta said.
To date, HSMA has a total of 110 members from the hotel and resort industry nationwide. (PNA)