Run and designed by Filipinos–the mobile application goes head-to-head with existing global brands.
Jason Lao, the CEO of Happy Hotels, admitted that the mobile application his company launched, is far from being perfect. But that may be the very reason, why the app is going to be the best choice, among many other traveling apps already taking a share of the rich tourism market.
During a press conference in Tagaytay City, which also saw the introduction of Brazilian actor-model Fabio Ide as its brand ambassador, Lao talked passionately about how the app is going to serve travelers in the country.
“I had to launch this because, we need to have our own, ‘di ba? If India has its own, Malaysia, Indonesia has its own…US, dapat meron din tayo sa Philippines,” he shared, noting the innate hospitable trait that every Filipino has.
“(Because) Filipinos and the Philippines, we’re world renowned citizens; internationally known tayo with our talents and the beauty of our country, “ he added.
Lao believes that the application needs to and will work, given its intent and how it is going to be a source of Filipino pride. “We have to make it big in the Philippines, in terms of the app, kasi this will become one of our pride as Filipinos. Kaya natin makipagsabayan…” he assured.
Aside from providing ease in booking hotels and other various accommodations in the country, the app allows users to also donate 5% to 10% of their booking fee to a charity organization of their choice, listed on the app’s menu.
“Sabi ko, ‘it has to be user friendly, (but it also) it has to have a charity component’…as Filipinos, nasa nature natin talaga ang tumulong, so sabi ko, ‘why not combine it?’, kasi nga sabi ko at least the same time, it’s still free. Naka-book ka na, nakatulong ka pa,” he shared.
To realize his vision for the app, Lao has partnered with various institutions in the country, including the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA), the Technical Education And Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Tourism Board, and local government units. This is to allow the app to serve several target markets, like travelers, OFWs, and employers.
“We want this to be a one-stop-shop for all travelers in the Philippines,” he said, sharing the many features that are already available in the app.
As for Ide, his being in the Philippines for 13 years and having enjoyed his time in the country with the kindness and hospitality of the Filipinos made him decide to take on Lao’s offer to be one of Happy Hotels ambassadors.
“For me, traveling is one of my addiction. I would rather invest in memories, invest in experience, than invests in other things and stuff,” he said, sharing how he has been traveling in many countries in the world.
Now available for download on Playstore and App Store, the app provides an easy booking access to around 100 partners across the archipelago. In months to come, the company teases to add hundreds more of dormitels, BnBs, and hotels, travelers won’t have trouble booking in, for their next trips.