The hotel industry faces challenging times ahead if not enough qualified sales and marketing professionals would be developed to fill in the demand of the hotel boom, said the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA).
“We have more hotels and less marketing and sales experts,” said Rose Libongco, chairperson of HSMA, a professional’s group based in the Philippines.
“Hotel sales professionals, as I have observed over the last couple years because I’m asked for more and more referrals, are getting less. And they have never been more in demand, and yet the supply of qualified, passionate, and excellent candidates is getting scarce indeed.”
Many excellent sellers and marketers in the industry are working abroad, while the new generation is attracted by better entry-level compensation in other industries.
HSMA formally launched yesterday an industry recognition program called Virtus Awards to promote the profession and subsequently encourage people to build a career in hotel sales and marketing.
The Virtus Awards will be the biggest and most prestigious sales and marketing competition in the travel and tourism industry, said HSMA.
Organized in partnership with the Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines, the awards honor excellence in three individual sales and marketing categories – Associate, Manager, Leader – covering positions in room sales, events management, catering, reservation, public relations and communication, and revenue management.
The multi-category initiative also recognizes a Marketing Campaign of the Year, built around a single, unified theme, using at least two different types of media.
“We are excited to present the Virtus Awards, which we envisage to transform the mindset of sales and marketing professionals in our industry, and set the tone for excellence. It brings to focus the key role they play in the country’s travel and tourism industry as they drive the bottom line value of their hotel properties and maximize return on investment”, said Margie Munsayac, President of HSMA.
The Virtus Awards will shine the spotlight back on sales and marketing and highlight the perks and challenges inherent in the job, said Libongco.