Looking for sustainable hotels and restaurants? Find them through this app
Paul Galacan and Edward Solicito, founders of Trakaro, love traveling. They’ve been to many places in the Philippines and they believe that everyone should do their part to conserve it.
So, when they joined Asian Institute of Management’s (AIM) sustainable tourism challenge, they thought of creating a mobile application that lets people measure the sustainability of hotels and restaurants.
“Many have this conceived notion that sustainable tourism is all about saving water, cutting back on plastics, and the like, but it isn’t limited to that. With Trakaro, we also look at how they operate: where they source their food, where they hire their people, and what types of initiatives they uphold,” said Paul.
These three factors make up their rating system called Fylla, which was designed after the triple bottom line of sustainability: planet, people, and profit.
The Fylla Rating gives establishments a sustainability rating from zero to 10 with 7 as the benchmark for sustainability.
This simple and easy to understand metric made Trakaro stand out from the rest of their competitors.
They were given a fund of PHP 150,000 to pursue and develop their project.
“But the money wasn’t enough to develop the mobile app from a 3rd party developer,” said Paul. “So, we pivoted and tried developing the app in-house. Thankfully, Edward’s close to his school in Batangas so we were able to get 5 interns to develop the very first version of Trakaro.”
The challenges didn't stop at the development of the app. Getting establishments onboard their platform was also overwhelming.
The Trakaro team approached many hotels and restaurants but their lack of initiative was discouraging.
“It’s unfortunate, but we also understood how tasking it was for them to create a whole new profile and to communicate with us to onboard a new travel platform,” said Paul.
They decided to move on to smaller businesses. Slowly, they started getting more partners after being introduced to like-minded hotels, restaurants, and tour operators. Now, they already have over 100 establishments in Trakaro, from Zambales in the North to Zamboanga in the South.
Trakaro recently joined MakeSense academy, a social incubator from France to help them get more people to download the app.
“We, at Trakaro, would like to express our deepest gratitude to our partners and mentors who believed in us since we’ve started. Trakaro wouldn’t have gotten this far without their support and mentorship. To the fellow advocates who share the same vision and advocacy as us, keep at it! We are all working towards a better present and future.”
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