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Finding our way through GPS TV

Global Positioning System or GPS is a navigation system using satellites, a receiver, and algorithms to synchronize location, velocity, and time data for air, sea, and land travel. It is a powerful and dependable tool for determining location, navigating from one point to another, tracking a movement, mapping specific areas, and recording precise timing.

The use of GPS systems is now very common, as it may be found in cars, smartphones, or even in watches. In fact, when this system is in place, one can easily be tracked while driving from one city to another.

Christine Ann Ibarreta is HSMA’s dynamic and indefatigable president
With the tourism industry currently in the doldrums, the stakeholders have been itching, during all these quarantine months, to do something productive and earn their keep. But, with the tourism industries of other countries also bogged down by the same fate, there is a general and overwhelming feeling of helplessness, frustration, and of being lost.

But those of us in the industry wouldn’t have lasted in this highly competitive global arena if we didn’t have this common denominator—fire in our belly! 

Giving up is never a part of our vocabulary. Just like a junkyard dog, we continue to dig for morsels of opportunities that could eventually benefit us.  

True to form, the 150-member Hotel Sales and Marketing Association (HSMA), led by its dynamic and indefatigable President Christine Ann Ibarreta, recently launched GPS (Go Philippines, Soar high) TV. It is a unique online tourism magazine show which is produced in partnership with the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Tourism Promotions Board (TPB).  

Serving as an online travel buddy, this new on-stream production gives direction to potential holidaymakers by keeping them well-informed on attractive promos and new destinations, whetting their appetite for travel and, eventually, propelling local tourism to greater heights. 

SUP Central Tours owner Michi Calica-Sotto offers stand-up paddleboarding tours.
 
Just like the global navigation tool, GPS TV maps out the recommended chartered course for tourism stakeholders and benefit-laden destinations for tourists. 

The 1.5-hour show will be live streaming three times weekly on HSMA’s Facebook page (@GPSTVofficialph) and on its YouTube channel (GPSTV). It will have different guest hosts weekly, as the association collaborates with thought leaders, influencers, and tourism industry experts.

This new online attraction will have four segments, the first one being Safe Getaways, where new destinations reached by land, air, and sea expeditions will be featured. Guests will also share their travel adventures, unique experiences, and insights on what they look forward to when they embark on their journey. This segment will certainly cater to the Gen Z, the adventure seekers.

The second segment is Your Stories where featured guests will relate their life challenges and how this pandemic has made them stronger and wiser through creative, interesting ideas. They will also talk about innovative concepts on livelihood, food, fashion, and even on making relationships last. This is geared towards the millennials, young entrepreneurs, OFWs and their families.

Snapshots is the third segment featuring vloggers who will highlight destinations, people, culture, food, arts, music, flora and fauna, and other interesting tidbits. This part of the show will also include ambush interviews of holidaymakers and residents of the community where the featured tourist destination is. It is expected to attract the young professionals.

Singer and TV star Kuh Ledesma also owns the landmark resort Hacienda Isabella.
 
The show’s last segment is Journeys, highlighting an hotelier or a traveler, and an insight into a local attraction through the eyes of an industry expert. There will also be a feature on the great outdoors and modern day living which definitely will attract anybody who has an appetite for travel and adventure.    

Aside from myself, two other personalities were invited as panelists during GPS TV’s launch: singer and TV star Kuh Ledesma who owns Hacienda Isabella, a landmark resort rich in history  in Indang, Cavite, and top bridal gown and couture designer Michi Calica-Sotto who owns SUP Central Tours in Coron, Palawan, which specializes in stand-up paddleboarding tours.

Ledesma, a devout Christian, narrated how the pandemic severely affected her resort’s business and that, the day after her prayer session with the staff, she received a booking for more than 200 long-staying OFWs, filling up all her guestrooms until now. Calica-Sotto shared with the audience how stand-up paddleboarding has become popular with local tourists, especially the adventure seekers among the millennials.

With this brave move of HSMA helping our industry find direction towards regaining our pre-COVID success, no doubt we will soon be back to our days of wine and roses, our days of sunshine and laughter, which this pandemic unceremoniously snatched away from us. Let us support HSMA’s bold new project by going online thrice weekly…with our loud battle cry: GPS TV! GPS TV! GPS TV!

Topics: Global Positioning System , Kuh Ledesma , GPS TV , Michi Calica-Sotto , Christine Ann Ibarreta
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