With the gradual lifting of quarantine restrictions in most parts of the country, Filipinos are raring to pack their bags and travel, albeit more cautiously, to once again enjoy the country’s beautiful destinations with families and friends.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) recently came up with a campaign to feed every Filipino’s wanderlust: “Wake Up In the Philippines,” which showcases a series of online videos that feature all of the country’s picturesque beaches, breathtaking mountains, and mouthwatering cuisine. The virtual experience easily inspires one to start planning their next trip in the Philippines, be it in Batanes, Bohol, Boracay—or just about any place they want to visit soon in the country.

And with tourism being one of the hardest hit industries—not just here, but all around the world—a local association of hotel marketers are holding a pivotal event aimed at further jump-starting the country’s hotel and hospitality industry: the September Online Sale, or S.O.S.

Organized by the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA) Philippines, with the support of the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), S.O.S. is a two-week online sale of 89 hotel accommodations and other offerings across the country, to be held from September 15 to 30, 2020. Through HSMA’s website, www.hsma.org.ph, travelers can find exclusive discounts of up to 70 percent off on regular rates of hotels in each of the featured destinations.

Offers include key destinations: Manila, Pasay, Makati/Bonifacio Global City, Ortigas Business Center, Quezon City, Northern Luzon, Southern Luzon, Boracay, Visayas, and Palawan/Mindanao. The vouchers are valid from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021.

“Some of the promos are valid for up to a year—and even more—while the others even have no expiration on their validity,” says Pearl Maclang, spokesperson for HSMA. “For travelers, the S.O.S. is both a limited-time offer that can help them save on their next trip, and a chance to help the Philippine tourism industry bounce back from COVID-19.”

And speaking of COVID-19, HSMA chair Margarita Munsayac assures S.O.S. buyers that all properties featured in the event have passed stringent health and hygiene safety protocols, all of which are also being communicated through their respective social media and digital platforms.

“Most hotels and resorts are ready with all health, safety, sanitation protocols, and are well-prepared to welcome guests again,” Munsayac says. “Months of quarantine have enabled these properties to plan carefully and in detail all these protocols, as prescribed by the government, to ensure safety of guests, as well as of employees.”

HSMA president Christine Ibarreta stressed that this initiative offers hope for an estimated 5.7 million hospitality employees and workers.

“We have no illusions that life will be the same—if and when restrictions are lifted. But the public’s patronage and advanced bookings from the sale gives us hope that things will get better. It will also enable us to plan ahead in terms of manpower and other operational requirements so that we will be able to hit the ground running when the pandemic is over,” shares Ibarreta.

With the help of S.O.S, HSMA believes there is hope for the Philippine tourism industry to bounce back sooner rather than later, and come out stronger than ever, too.

“We believe that we will see the opening of domestic travel corridors by October, and more by December,” says HSMA vice president Benjie Martinez. “Come summer of 2021, we can expect the hospitality sector to be in a fairly better situation, as more people find ways to wake up in different parts of the Philippines.”

HSMA’s S.O.S. is presented in partnership with TPB, Atlantis, and Isentia.