Check out this new, proudly Pinoy app that brings the 'cowabunga dude' into the country's tourism industry.
Bliimo is an app that was launched at Inflatable Island in Subic. I went to the event and met some of the owners to get to know more about their vision to bring together travel adventures in the Philippines.
Partying at Inflable Island
The Boho Chic party was filled good times and good vibes as Bliimo launched their app with an event fun water sport activities. The founders and I had a meaningful chat about their vision for Philippine tourism. They said they chose the Inflatable Island because the place best represents what their app is all about.
"Extreme activities are the core of Bliimo as an app. All of what you’ve said are all going to be available in Bliimo. Sky Diving, Cliff Diving, Hot Air Balloon Rides, White Water Rafting, Riding Helis, Mountaineering, etc. are all there. The list goes on to Surfing, Kite Surfing, Parasailing, Wakeboarding, ATV Riding, 4x4 Riding, Spelunking, and many many more," said Bliimo CEO Ronn Esguerra.
The Inflatable Island is dubbed as the biggest floating playground in the Philippines. Its 4,100-square-meter beach playground is as big as 8 basketball courts put together side by side with inflatables slides, towers, bridges, human launchers, swings and other fun games.
Water sports were also available and were provided by Bliimo's partner Networx Subic. Music and fun-filled partying complemented the friendly vibes as adventure junkies and travel enthusiasts got together to check out the awesome Pinoy-made app!
Bliimo: Experience Awesomeness
So, what's Bliimo? It's actually a hip and handy travel app to everything fun and awesome in the Philippines.
Through Bliimo, you can start your adventures by selecting from a pool of unique activities and experiences all over the Philippines.
Esguerra further explained how they came up with the idea of the app.
"Bliimo was inspired by a circumstance. My wife’s friends were on their way to La Union and they invited us to join them. Unfortunately, my wife and I aren’t surfers, so we weren’t really enthusiastic to go. Then it hit me. There isn’t an existing platform to which users can go into to know all the things that you can do in a particular destination. While there are international platforms, their database for local experiences are not as elaborate as you’d want it to be," he said.
Bliimo also helps integrate all the different service providers into an excellent marketing platform.
"The idea that we would be able to help small operators in the countryside by providing them a marketing platform to offer their services to a broader audience was an idea I cannot walk away from," Chief Technology Officer Paolo Montero said.
One of the most impressive features of the Bliimo app is that it allows users to create a personalized itinerary. It also allows users to create their own bucket list and helps you invite friends to join your trips. Then you can easily share your activities in social media.
"Bliimo was developed for the people. As we believe that travel is personal rather than commercial, we strove to create features that would be part of every person’s life. Like the Bucketlist feature, where you tag activities that you would want to do and track your achievements as you explore adventures year in year out. We have also developed the very first customized itinerary system, we wanna empower users to be able to decide on their own and plan their adventures the way they want to. From what to do, to what comes next, to how much I’ve budgeted to pay," said Esguerra.
"The top 3 features of Bliimo that separates it from the rest of the pack are Itinerary Planning, Bucketlist, and the security it provides to any transaction. Itinerary planning allows you to customize your travel up to the hour, giving you the freedom to put in activities you want to do, when you want to do it. Bucketlist allows you to collect activities on a list that you can later share and book. The security we put in ensures that the merchant only gets paid when the services have been rendered," Montero explained.
One of Bliimo's main goals is to bolster the country's tourism industry as it shows the growing online community of travelers more unique experiences to try in various destinations in the Philippines.
"Bliimo will become the most comprehensive online platform for activities and experiences here in the country. From the affordable ones to the luxurious ones, we welcome all types of merchants, so when a tourist comes to visit, all they have to do is explore Bliimo and they’ll see all the things that they can do, whenever they want to do it," said Esguerra.
Chief Finance Officer (CFO) James Cruz is positive that the app is a game-changer for the country. "Moreover, aside from opening Philippine tourism globally to the online marketplace thanks to technology, we are also looking to boost domestic travels by the locals as we discover more experiences beyond what is known to the general public," he said.
Bliimo is in synergy with various merchants around the country to bring the activities that they offer closer and more convenient to its customers.
According to its founders, many tourists have a very limited view on what to do in the Philippines, so their goal is to awaken the world and bring together the best out-of-the-box adventures that would make them see the uniqueness of the country.
"We are always on the lookout for something available out there. From what we have been hearing from our merchants, they are also cooking up some exciting activities as they have also noticed that the recent demand for more things to do outside of the ordinary," Cruz said.
"Exciting adventures are what Bliimo really stands for. Activities that gives us that one second of euphoria is what we want the app to center on. Starting from ATV to skydiving, we have this covered thanks to the effort our Merchant Acquisition Team is doing," Montero said.
PH poorly marketed in the world
The team behind the app think that the Philippines is still poorly marketed as a destination.
"There’s so much here that other countries would want. We have beaches scattered all over our islands and all of them are beautiful. We have mountains, caves, natural wonders, and a heritage that has no comparison. But, even if this is the case, the Philippines as a travel destination, based on the tourism's contribution to GDP, is not at par with our neighboring countries. The country is faced with multiple challenges in terms of accommodating more tourists, both foreign and domestic. Bliimo is here to help that grow, to give the opportunity for activity-providers to expand and provide better services to all," Esguerra said.
"Focusing on the positive, we can look at it from the perspective that the Philippines is the next big travel destination to tourists all over the world. As Ronn has said, we have countless attractions to offer, whether it be natural wonders and or unique experiences. Online, if you have been noticing, Filipino food is slowly making its way to the international community, with the growing popularity of Filipino food like ube, sisig and Jollibee and I believe that sooner rather than later, they’d want to go to the main source of these delicacies. Lastly, I think Filipino hospitality to tourists will also play a big part in spearheading this growth if marketed properly. If you’ve been to Boracay or Bohol lately, you’ll know that English-speaking local tour guides are old news as nowadays, they now also speak in Chinese and Korean," Cruz said.
"[The Philippines being] not under-rated, but under-marketed, Bliimo helps out by providing this unmarketed merchants a platform where they can advertise themselves. Bliimo has tied up with various merchants around the country to bring the activities that they offer closer and more convenient to its customers," Montero said.
An APP for the OFW family
OFW families and balikbayans are also target markets of the app.
"Planning what to do on your travels or adventures take time. A typical person researches an average of 12 blogs or websites a time just to know what to do at their destination, and the problem is, it’s still not all that. Bliimo then makes all of that available all in one app. OFW families can plan their vacations with family even before they land or even while still at foreign soil. Besides all this, they can even send their itineraries eventually to their families and have their members edit the itinerary the way they please while communicating it all in the in-app chat system that we’re currently developing. Collaboration is key in planning, and that is what we offer to our users, a seamless flow of information exchange between loved ones here and around the world," Esguerra said.
"We are also currently in the process of developing features which will make planning more convenient without taking away from the crowning jewel of Bliimo which is itinerary planning and customization. We believe that this will be particularly important to those OFWs who want to connect with their families while re-connecting with their mother country," Cruz shared.
"Returning OFWs can plan their travels in advance, even before they reach the Philippines. This would help make their vacation, which they really treasure, hassle-free," Montero added.
One of Bliimo's main goal is to bolster the country's tourism industry, as it shows the growing online community of travelers more unique experiences to try in various destinations in the Philippines.
"We envision a future where the whole country will be grown into the tourism capital of Asia. A hub for those who want to enjoy and have fun. As all the natural wonders are with us already, it just takes a little push and a lot of teamwork from both the private and public sectors to realize this dream. We envision a future where Philippine tourism stands where it was always meant to stand--at the top."
To know more about Bliimo, visit their website www.bliimo.com. Download the app thru Google Play or App Store.
John Paul C. Tanchanco is a travel, food, party, film and music aficionado. He is also an economist, businessman, MYX/Awit award-winning media producer and Kala guitarist.
"ThaGoodLife" is a special blog for news.abs-cbn.com about pop culture, travel, music, entertainment, business, food, luxury, clubbing, shopping and events.
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