Despite confusion over lockdown restrictions and surging coronavirus cases, the hospitality sector is holding the second iteration of its September Online Sale (SOS), which offers deep discounts on travel packages.
From Sept. 15 to Oct.15, the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) will showcase overnight, staycation, and out-of-town packages with discounts of up to 70% from 79 hotels and resorts nationwide.
Participating properties will follow the government’s latest guidelines. HSMA advised hotels to be flexible since restrictions can be tightened at a moment’s notice. Voucher validity may be extended up to a year and a few packages come with RT-PCR testing. Customers are encouraged to get vaccinated.
HSMA believes it can deliver safe travel experiences during the pandemic as 98% of the employees at member hotels and resorts are fully vaccinated, according to Margie F. Munsayac, HSMA chair.
The last batch of employees are scheduled to receive their second dose this week. “We may reach 100% by then,” said Ms. Munsayac.
In August, the Department of Tourism (DoT) reported 95% or over 27,000 of around 29,000 workers in hotels within Metro Manila being fully vaccinated.
AIMING FOR DOUBLE
Beyond room accommodation and room packages, this year’s sale includes food and beverage packages, event packages, and other ancillary packages.
“There are a lot of choices this year and we really expect to surpass last year,” said Benjamin V. Martinez, HSMA president and Bayleaf Hotels area director of sales and marketing, at the SOS press conference.
The first iteration of the sale in 2020 revealed that the top destinations were Manila/Pasay and Boracay, with the top-selling group being Shangri-La Boracay, according to Amie C. Villena, HSMA secretary and Bellevue Hotel and Resorts Group director for sales and marketing.
The 2020 sale generated P14 million in revenue from 2,000 vouchers sold by 94 participating hotel and resort groups.
“We want to surpass the P14 million last year because, back then, we only had SOS for 15 days, and now it’s 30 days. If we can double it, why not?” she said.