ZAKI DEL­GADO, WHO HAILS FROM THE PROM­I­NENT DEL­GADO CLAN, GREW up out­side the coun­try but would al­ways yearn for the warmth of the Philip­pines.

The Philippine Star - - TRAVEL & TOURISM - By IRIS C. GON­ZA­LES

In­deed, he has seen the sky­scrapers of Hong Kong, roamed the dif­fer­ent states of Amer­ica and has en­joyed the four sea­sons of Canada but at the end of the day, it was the charm of the Philip­pines that cap­ti­vated him the most.

“I grew up abroad, but we would of­ten travel to the Philip­pines, and some­thing about the coun­try cap­ti­vated me. There was al­ways an un­mis­tak­able warmth, charm and fa­mil­iar­ity that I closely as­so­ci­ated with the Philip­pines,” Del­gado tells STAR­week.

He knew that there was so much within the Philip­pines that many Filipinos have not seen, a re­al­ity that drove him to put up, a lead­ing Philip­pine-fo­cused online travel en­gine that al­lows cus­tomers to book flights and ho­tels, pur­chase unique travel ex­pe­ri­ences and share their trip online with oth­ers in just one user­in­ter­face.

He wanted to share with his fel­low Filipinos this pas­sion for travel and the charm and mag­nif­i­cence that the Philip­pines has to of­fer.

“We have so much within our own borders many of us have not seen. Part of my dream and vi­sion is to have en­able and al­low more and more Filipinos to dis­cover our own backyard,” he says.

For Del­gado, trav­el­ing is about liv­ing a new story, an ex­pe­ri­ence and, in the process, cre­at­ing the best mem­o­ries one can have.

“Trav­el­ing taps into that ba­sic hu­man cu­rios­ity each of us nat­u­rally has. I love learn­ing and it makes go­ing to dif­fer­ent places all the more mem­o­rable for me. Even if it is some­where I go regularly, there is al­ways some­thing new – a new story, a new mem­ory, a new ex­pe­ri­ence to be had,” Del­gado adds.

With this in mind, Del­gado started con­cep­tu­al­iz­ing and plan­ning, with the aim of mak­ing it the goto site for Philip­pine online travel.

“We started work­ing on this sev­eral years ago. We’ve had our first full year of oper­a­tions last year. But we re­ally started this be­cause of our pas­sion for travel. We are part of a very young team and we’re very pas­sion­ate,” Del­gado says.

He was aware that some trav­el­ers found it dif­fi­cult to re­search on places to go in the coun­try, pre­pare for their trips and make their book­ings.

“They find it hard to re­search, book stuff. We had a pas­sion for travel so we wanted to cre­ate some­thing in the tech­nol­ogy space,” he says.

And so came to be. The com­pany is part of the Transna­tional Diver­si­fied Group, an Asi­abased con­glom­er­ate of more than 30 sub­sidiaries in di­verse in­dus­tries such as lo­gis­tics, ship man­age­ment, travel and tourism as well as in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nol­ogy.

With a year of full oper­a­tions, now has over 150,000 Face­book fans.

“Re­cep­tion has been quite good. We’re happy that tripmoba has taken off,” Del­gado says.

Book­ing vol­ume in the first quar­ter of the year was thrice the vol­ume the com­pany had a year ago, Del­gado notes.

The site pri­mar­ily tar­gets young, up­scale pro­fes­sion­als in the Philip­pines, val­ue­con­scious and leisure-driven trav­el­ers who turn to trips as the best way to un­wind.

“Com­mit­ted to giv­ing trav­el­ers an easy and stress-free book­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, tripmoba. of­fers the con­ve­nience of plan­ning an en­tire trip from be­gin­ning to end, com­bined with the best lo­cal­ized cus­tomer ser­vice,” the com­pany says in a sep­a­rate pro­file on the site.

With the site, users can search for the price and avail­abil­ity of flights and ho­tels, as well as make in­stant reser­va­tions and pay online. Tick­ets and vouch­ers can be re­ceived via email, while the site pro­vides the ul­ti­mate in­sider ex­pe­ri­ence with editor and mem­ber-driven guides.

A unique of­fer­ing is that through­out their trav­els, cus­tomers will have con­stant ac­cess to their itin­er­ary as well as ex­ten­sive list of restau­rants, hotspots and other ac­tiv­i­ties to try.

“This con­stant en­gage­ment with cus­tomers is a key as­pect of what makes spe­cial: of­fer­ing well-se­lected travel ex­pe­ri­ences that peo­ple will re­mem­ber, talk about and share,” ac­cord­ing to the pro­file.

To make this pos­si­ble, has tie-ups with travel agen­cies and tour op­er­a­tors.

And if trav­el­ers have last­minute changes, they can sim­ply com­mu­ni­cate with tripmoba. cus­tomer ser­vice.

Lara Tor­res-San­tos, tripmoba. strate­gic mar­keter, says that to those who have no idea what to do, the site of­fers a guide sec­tion, which loops in the en­tire travel ex­pe­ri­ence.

In the end, Del­gado says, of­fers trav­el­ers a seam­less ex­pe­ri­ence that be­gins not upon land­ing but even dur­ing the book­ing and re­search process.

“We re­ally want to make trav­el­ing to and from the Philip­pines eas­ier at the root of it all, we want to have our cus­tomers have a great travel ex­pe­ri­ence, a great travel story to tell their friends,” he says.

Now, with a lit­tle help from, you too can start writ­ing your own mem­o­rable travel story.

The team at the PHILTOA Trav­el­mart to launch the Philip­pines’ first online travel site (from left): Tin Fer­rer, Pa­tri­cia Perez, Zaki Del­gado, Mags Salvador, Paul Villena, Ka­tia Naval and Lara San­tos.

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