SafeZone, billed as “the free side of Internet,” recently partnered with international booking platform Agoda.com to offer free data access for hotel bookings for Smart, Sun and Smart Bro subscribers.
Agoda.com, the leading online accommodations provider in Asia, is known for its extensive network of 600,000 hotels globally. Agoda users can search, select best price, and confirm booking instantly.
Travel going online
According to a recent study by Agoda.com, more and more travelers are wired online in terms of finding information and sharing their experiences.
The survey, conducted in April and May 2015, asked over 5,500 Agoda.com customers from all over the world which sources they found most reliable when making travel plans. Online forums were the most popular, with 34% of respondents choosing them.
Blogs and independent websites came in second with 28% of the vote. Online sources combined, which includes forums, blogs and travel apps, took 71% of the vote.
Boosting the travel sector
The addition of Agoda.com to SafeZone’s roster of mobile apps and sites is significant to the growing use of digital services by Filipinos.
Benjie Fernandez, the CEO of Voyager Innovations Inc., believes that the partnership can even lead to a measurable boost in the Philippine travel sector.
“Making it free and easy to book accommodations through Agoda.com via SafeZone means that Filipinos will be more mobile. They will visit other islands and travel to other countries. This will most directly help our local hotel industry, but Philippine companies in related fields, such as in air travel, should also see a boost,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez’s prediction is rooted in the fact that the SafeZone portal gets millions of visitors per month, empowering digital businesses that depend largely on web traffic. Publications get the page views they need to appeal to advertisers and ecommerce platforms get a larger funnel from which to convert visitors into users.
“We are excited to partner with the new innovation, SafeZone. And look forward to working closely together on strategic initiatives that empower even more Filipinos to securely and conveniently book their accommodation of choice online,” said Lennart van der Beek, VP for Partner Development at Agoda.com.
To book using Agoda for free users can simply visit http://www.safezone.ph/free-services/#agoda, turn on the “Load Protect” feature to ensure that no data charges occur, and then browse the platform as they please. SafeZone is developed by Voyager Innovations, the digital unit of Smart-PLDT.
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