The hotel sector’s biggest online travel sale in the Philippines is returning on September 15 to help revive the hard-hit tourism industry affected by the ongoing pandemic.

In a virtual presser on Tuesday, the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) said SOS or the September Online Sale will run from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, 2021 with “bigger promotions and discounts” in at least 80 hotels nationwide.

This year’s SOS will offer various hotel vacation and food & beverage packages at as much as 70 percent off and can be accessed by visiting the HSMA website on the official launch.

The discounted packages are sold in the form of e-vouchers that can be used in a span of a year from the date of purchase and may be extended upon request.

In 2020, the inaugural SOS generated about PHP14 million in confirmed bookings and HSMA is looking forward to double it this year.

“From a 15-day event, we’ve planned a month-long travel mart. We are also including the ancillary services of the properties such as restaurants, bars, banquet packages, spa, gym and pool, and other facilities of the hotel, making this year’s campaign more thrilling and inviting,” said Benjie Martinez, HSMA President and Area Director of Sales & Marketing for Bayleaf Hotels.

The inaugural SOS held last year was one of the many projects initiated by the local hotel association in response to the coronavirus crisis.

The event sold almost 2,000 vouchers, which brought in much-needed revenue for the participating hotels and resorts’ operations and upkeep, keeping millions of Filipinos employed in the sector.

HSMA said one of the hotels even includes a package that allows guests to check-in at 6 am and check out the next day as late as 10 pm for the price of an overnight stay.

Staycation hotels in areas under general community quarantine may technically already forego testing requirements, except for minors and senior citizens who have to submit a negative RT-PCR, but HSMA clarified that the decision would still depend on the local government unit where the establishment is located.

Giving assurances that the participating hotels will strictly implement health protocols and precautionary measures set by the government and the World Health Organization, HSMA is hoping this initiative could help promote safe domestic travel among Filipinos.

“It has to start from us, this domestic travel has to start from us, we have to show them from the hotel industry. There has to be a point wherein we have to open up,” HSMA Director for Ways & Means Cristina Carreon said in the presser.

Source: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1152858