DOT vows to back hospitality sector, boost human capital dev’t

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

November 12, 2023, 12:37 pm

<p>Secretary Christina Frasco <em>(File photo courtesy of DOT)</em></p>

Secretary Christina Frasco (File photo courtesy of DOT)

MANILA — The Department of Tourism (DOT) will do its part to help hotels uplift the standards of the Philippine hospitality industry. 
In her message at the recent Hotels Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA)-led 9th Virtus Awards, DOT Secretary Christina Frasco said the government will double efforts to support human capital development through upskilling and programs such as the Filipino Brand of Service Excellence. 
Frasco said the DOT has so far trained 100,000 Filipino workers under the initiative, "ensuring continued upliftment of quality tourism services” for domestic and foreign tourists. 
Meanwhile, she recognized the winners of the Virtus Awards and HSMA's efforts in honoring excellence and dedication to propel the Philippine hospitality industry. 

9th Virtus Awards winners with Virtus Awards chair Rose Libongco (left) 

In a ceremony on Nov. 9, HSMA named the sector’s outstanding sales and marketing leaders for the year 2023, including a campaign that successfully capitalized on the pandemic-borne “revenge travel.” 
"The Virtus Awards continues to be a unique platform for hotel sales and marketing professionals to share their remarkable stories of setting game-changing standards in service that positively transform the hospitality landscape,” Frasco said. 
“These stories embody the spirit of our nation's hospitality, offering visitors an unforgettable Philippine experience that gives them more reasons to love the Philippines," she added. 
Virtus Awards is one of the most coveted awards in the hospitality industry, pushing sales and marketing executives to innovate and initiate campaigns that would help transform the sector. 
This year’s theme is “Beyond the Bottom Line,” which urges hospitality groups and people to be responsive to “shifting preferences and flexible to future scenarios." 
“As hotels continue to evolve how they do business amid rapidly changing guest behaviors, preferences and expectations, hoteliers are incessantly faced with figuring out how to put guest satisfaction first while juggling operational challenges, budget and labor shortages,” HSMA chair Margarita Munsayac said. 
“With guest experience at the heart of hospitality, going beyond the bottom line develops a mindset of consistent level of excellence that underscores a commitment of not merely meeting guest expectations but exceeding them, and of cultivating long-lasting, meaningful relationships with guests who return time and again,” she added. 
The following net the four recognitions: 
  • Outstanding Sales & Marketing Associate - Charles Patrick Estupin, Sales Manager, Crimson Filinvest Hotel City Manila
  • Outstanding Sales & Marketing Manager - Cesar Villaganas, Quest Hotel and Conference Center Cebu
  • Outstanding Sales & Marketing Leader -  Karlene Capunitan, Director of Sales, The Ascott Limited
  • Most Outstanding Marketing Campaign of the Year - Robinsons Hotels and Resorts, “Let’s Go, Go, Go” campaign

In explaining the Go 24/7 campaign, Robinsons Hotels and Resorts director of marketing Nonito Antonio Cuizon said the hotel group wants to align with the DOT’s thrust to promote local tourism this year. (PNA)