The Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) is the premier organization of sales and marketing leaders in the Philippine travel and tourism industry, representing the hotels and resorts segment. It is in the forefront of providing hotel sales and marketing professionals with tools, insights and expertise to remain current in the ever-evolving hotels and resorts industry.
HSMA was organized in 1979 from the informal gatherings of the directors of sales and marketing of the top hotels in Metro Manila. The first set of officers were Melvin Cruz of the Hyatt Hotel as president with Rose Hilario-Libongco of Hotel Intercontinental Manila, Aurora Patricio-Paredes of Manila Hilton, Michael Cuisia of The Manila Hotel and Peter Litgeib of The Manila Mandarin as charter officers.
Hotel luminaries who have held the reins of the HSMA presidency include Maggie Garcia, Leny Fabul, Ofri Canlas, the late Chiqui Recio-Ang, Lyn Tamparong, Gami Holazo, Roberto Laygo, and Marita Marcos. Rose H. Libongco is the longest serving president of the HSMA as she was elected for multiple terms from 1982 until 2010 during some of the industry’s most turbulent times, politically and environmentally.
Over the years, the HSMA has grown in membership and stature as a work oriented and apolitical organization that is committed to promote the Philippines and its member properties. Its roster of members counts 110 hotel and resort properties nationwide as of end 2019.
It was during the presidency of Margarita F. Munsayac, current HSMA Chair, when the Virtus Awards was launched to recognize excellence among sales and marketing practitioners in the hotels and resorts industry.
Under its current President, Christine Ann U. Ibarreta, the HSMA continues to be in the forefront of helping the Department of Tourism change the way of doing business in the country’s tourism industry.
HSMA was an active stakeholder in the 6-month rehabilitation of Boracay in 2018 as foreign arrivals continued to fill up other resort destinations in the country. Its member properties were home to athletes participating in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games held in the Philippines. This year, the HSMA finds itself in unchartered territory with the coronavirus pandemic that significantly impacted tourism activities globally. But HSMA continues to carry on with member properties tapped by the government to serve as institutional isolation centers. HSMA also lobbied for the approval of the PhP10 Billion credit facility for micro and small tourism stakeholders under the Bayanihan to Recover as One bill.
Inspite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, HSMA presses on with a myriad of trademark events in 2020 – the 6th Virtus Awards, the September Online Sales (SOS) with member properties offering hotel accommodations at 60%-70% off, and the online TV magazine Go Philippines, Soar High! (GPS) that are geared to restore domestic tourism confidence and stimulate demand.
Truly, HSMA has come a long way in influence and dedication to the Philippine tourism cause and continues to be a trailblazer in the travel industry.