PH hotels launch project to reignite wanderlust among Pinoys

Shiela Reyes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 25 2021 10:01 AM | Updated as of Sep 25 2021 02:40 PM

MANILA – An organization of hotels and resorts in the Philippines has partnered with the Department of Tourism, Tourism Promotions Board and Isentia to launch a collaborative effort aimed at reigniting wanderlust among Filipinos amid the pandemic.

“[The goal is] to entice people to go for safe travels and provide new ways of experiencing and promoting tourism during this pandemic,” Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) president Benjie Martinez said at a recent virtual press conference.

With the theme “Go Safe, Go Tour: Walk and Talk with Us,” the second season of GPSTV features nine bite-sized episodes which are now streaming on GPSTV’s official Facebook and YouTube accounts.

The Acuaverde Beach Resort. Handout
The Acuaverde Beach Resort. Handout

Aside from that, a one-hour special episode shall be aired on cable television this November.

HSMA vice president Loleth So said the project’s ultimate goal is to jumpstart the tourism industry, one of the sectors that was greatly affected by the pandemic. 

“Today, as the Philippines begins to cautiously emerge from lockdown, the tourism industry that accounts for about 12.8% of the national GDP is looking towards the new travel normal,” she said.

While GPSTV’s pilot season last year took an informative approach in the digital platform creating market awareness of lifestyle and travel destinations, the second season is expected to take a more in-depth approach to experiential travel. 

The Bluewater Maribago. Handout
The Bluewater Maribago. Handout

“We say ‘walk and talk’ because it is precisely what season 2 will bring. Exciting journeys to share and talk about,” So said.

“Our host Kevin Lapena will take our viewers on a journey to various excellent travel destinations to experience gastronomic and cultural adventures, leisure and business travels and even plan for a milestone event when it is finally allowed.”

With this, the project will not only promote the enjoyment and pleasures of tourism but more importantly, it will highlight that travel can be safe and worry-free. 

GPSTV Season 2 will have three main segments: Walk 1, which is a gastronomic and cultural experience around the Philippines; Walk 2, which will cover city staycations, extended business stays, corporate meetings and milestone social events; and Walk 3, which will showcase grand vacations in beach and adventure destinations.

For the bite-sized episodes, So said they will be using the existing materials from its 140 member hotels. As for the cable TV special, they are slated to start filming on the first or second week of October. 

“We are hoping to finish all finish in one month and a half’s time. It really depends on the travel protocols. We have a plan already. We will move from Manila then we go to Tagaytay. We also hope to do some in Pampanga. And then we go to the south which is Cebu. Thereafter, we will collate everything and hope to be able to show everything on TV,” she said.