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Travel bugs look forward to September 1 biggest online travel fair in Phl

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87 hotels and resorts across Philippines support Pinoys’ clamor for local travel adventure

By Alithea De Jesus

Tis’ is the season that every Filipino looks for, the BER. And for the foreigners who have been living in the Philippines longer, they already know what they can expect. This is the time when social media will be flooded by memes of the illustrious Jose Mari Chan, dubbed as the Father of Christmas of Flipino people, announcing that Christmas is here.

But more than the harbinger of Christmas, the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association Philippines gives everyone early Christmas gifts, as the September Online Sale (2023) is back this year with its biggest edition ever—a month-long event that invites travelers across the Philippines to fall in love with the country’s beautiful destinations once more.

Offering the best deals from the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association’s member-properties in Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, SOS 2023 has 87 participating hotels and resorts, the most in the annual event’s four-year run. These include discounts on room stays, weekend getaways, rejuvenating spa experiences and other recreational offers, as well as on restaurants, meetings and conferences packages, and banquet occasions, such as weddings. birthdays, anniversaries. 

Amie Villena, HSMA Vice President and Project Head of this year’s SOS, and director of sales and marketing at the Four Points by Sheraton Palawan Puerto Princesa.

Now on its fourth edition, the sale promises an easy, convenient, and fulfilling shopping experience, says Amie Villena, HSMA Vice President and Project Head of this year’s SOS, and director of sales and marketing at the Four Points by Sheraton Palawan Puerto Princesa. Despite the easing of pandemic restrictions, Villena says there is still a high demand for online travel sales such as SOS, given that customers still want a safe and hassle-free experience when purchasing their next getaway.

Head Tet Romualdo who is also HSMA Secretary and General Manager of The Linden Suites in Ortigas Center.

“Online shopping is never going away,” adds SOS Co-Project Head Tet Romualdo who is also HSMA Secretary and General Manager of The Linden Suites in Ortigas Center. “It’s economical; you don’t have to sit through traffic to go to the fair, plus you have a month to really think through the deals you want to get. There is also a steady pattern now of travelers booking more of their vacations and trips online.”

Villena says that aside from offering convenience, SOS encourages customers to do a “mix and match” of their chosen deals. “You can combine Cebu-Bohol deals, therefore creating a unique itinerary for you and your friends or family,” she says.

SOS participating hotels and resorts include: Acacia Hotel Manila, Belmont Hotel Manila, Crimson Hotel Filinvest City, Manila, Holiday Inn Express Manila, Newport City, Kingsford Hotel Manila, Marriott Hotel Manila, Okada Manila, Savoy Hotel Manila, Sheraton Manila, Solaire Resort, The Bellevue Manila, and The Heritage Hotel Manila in the Alabang/Pasay/Parañaque area; 

Alta Vista de Boracay, Belmont Hotel Boracay, Crimson Resort and Spa Boracay, Discovery Shores Boracay, Feliz Hotel Boracay, Hue Hotels and Resorts Boracay, Le Soleil de Boracay Hotel, Movenpick Resort & Spa Boracay, Patio Pacific Boracay, Savoy Hotel Boracay, and The Lind Boracay in Boracay; 

Armada Hotel Manila, Bayview Park Hotel, Dusit Thani Manila, Hotel Lucky Chinatown, I’M Hotel, New World Makati Hotel, One Pacific Place Serviced Residences, Ramada by Wyndham Manila Central, Seda Residences Makati, The Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences, and Winford Resort & Casino Manila in the cities of Manila and Makati;

Best Western Plus Metro Clark, Clark Marriott Hotel, Grand Sierra Pines Baguio, and Quest Plus Conference Center in Central Clark, SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western, AC Luxe Angeles City, and Swissotel Clark in North Luzon; Bai Hotel Cebu, Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort, Bluewater Panglao Beach Resort, Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort, Fili Hotel Cebu – Nustar, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, MetroCentre Hotel and Convention Center, Mithi Resort and Spa, Modala Beach Resort, Quest Hotel Conference Center Cebu, The Bellevue Resort, Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino Mactan, and Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino in Cebu and Bohol; 

Bacau Bay Resort Coron, Club Paradise Palawan, Dusit Thani Hotels and Resorts Davao, Four Points by Sheraton Palawan Puerto Princesa, Seda Lio, Huni Lio, Lihim Resort, Miniloc Island Resort, The Oriental Leyte, and Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao in Palawan, Leyte, and Davao; 

Ace Hotel & Suites, B Hotel Quezon City, Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Discovery Suites, F1 Hotel Manila, Holiday Inn Manila Galleria, Joy Nostalg Hotel and Suites Manila, Luxent Hotel, Novotel Suites Manila at Acqua, Richmonde Hotel Ortigas, Seda BGC, Seda Vertis North, and The Linden Suites in Quezon City and Ortigas;

Acuatico Beach Resort, Acuaverde Beach Resort and Hotel, Anya Resort Tagaytay, Club Balai Isabel, Hotel Casiana Tagaytay, Pico Sands Hotel, Quest Hotel Tagaytay, Seda Nuvali, Summit Ridge Tagaytay, Taal Vista Hotel, and Twin Lakes Hotel in South Luzon.

The best part is that SOS vouchers have no expiry date, which allows Filipinos to make long-term travel plans. This allows them to also get deals for two of the busiest travel seasons: the Yuletide holidays and summer.

“Domestic travelers now start planning their vacations early as this allows them to catch seat sales too,” explains Loleth So, HSMA President and Area Director of Sales and Marketing, Savoy and Belmont Hotel Manila Megaworld Hotels and Resorts. ”That’s why SOS is very timely.”

Established in response to the challenges posed to the travel and hospitality industry by the pandemic, SOS has grown to be the largest online travel sale in the Philippines, says Margie Munsayac, HSMA Chair and Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Bluewater Resorts. It has experienced 10 -15 percent year-on-year growth: In 2020, total revenue was at P14.1M, with 1,752 vouchers sold; in 2021 that figure jumped to P29.6M, and 5,164 vouchers; and last year, revenue was at P36.8M, equivalent to 5,854 vouchers sold.

And with travel and hospitality in the Philippines still only halfway to reaching its pre-pandemic level, Munsayac says SOS will continue to focus on helping all industry players continue on their journey to recovery.

“At the end of the day, SOS is really about forging partnerships and ensuring that we all work together towards our collective growth,” she adds.

CHECK FULL LIST OF PARTICIPATING PROPERTIES:

The September Online Sale: Eat, Stay, Love, The Joys of Travel will run from September 1 – 30, 2023.  Vouchers may be purchased at www.HSMA.org.ph/SOS The event is supported by the Department of Tourism, the Tourism Promotions Board, Atlantis, and Isentia.  

For more information, visit the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association website: hsma.org.ph/sos or the HSMA Facebook page: @hsmaph

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