MANILA, Philippines — A subsidiary of the country’s second most valuable listed firm Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) has teamed up with accommodation booking site Airbnb for discounted accommodations and a boost in subscribers.
Smart Communications, Incorporated, together with PLDT and Voyager Innovations, on Thursday, October 29, announced a partnership with Airbnb, to offer the telco’s subscribers as much as P2,500 ($53.35) discount when they book accommodations here or overseas.
From Thursday, October 29, until January 2016, Smart subscribers will receive a P2,500 ($53.35) discount for any Airbnb booking worldwide with a minimum expense of P8,000 ($170.72).
“All they have to do is text SMARTAIRBNB to 2855 for FREE to receive a unique promo code. The discount is limited to once per registered Philippine user, but is open to all past and first-time bookers,” Ariel Fermin, PLDT executive vice-president and Smart Consumer Business head, told a media briefing in Makati City.
The booking has to be made by March 31, 2016, and the date of travel must be between October 29, 2015, and December 2016, Fermin said.
According to the PLDT executive, the same discount will soon be extended to PLDT HOME subscribers, as well as selected clients of PLDT Alpha Enterprise and PLDT Smart SME Nation.
“We’re excited to help bring yet another digital innovation closer to more Filipinos nationwide, this time with a global pioneer in travel accommodations, Airbnb,” Fermin said.
“As more and more Filipinos, particularly the younger ones, find the time and resources to travel around the country and abroad, we are providing them convenient access to millions of the most unique accommodations around the world through our partnership with Airbnb,” he added.
Triple-digit boost for Airbnb
Airbnb regional director for Southeast Asia JJ Chai said on the sidelines of the briefing that the partnership with Smart is expected to bring a “300% increase in Airbnb users here in the Philippines.”
“For the Philippines, the speed of growth from last year to this year is 300% and we are expecting to sustain or even surpass it,” Chai told reporters.
The Philippines, according to Chai, is among the fastest growing markets for Airbnb in the region.
Chai said are almost 2 million homes to choose from all over the world, and subscribers can safely and easily book their choice on a computer, mobile phone or tablet through Airbnb.
“The partnership is not only targeted towards Filipino travelers, though: Airbnb and PLDT HOME and PLDT-Smart SME Nation are exploring partnership opportunities targeted towards homes and unique hospitality businesses that can easily list on Airbnb,” Fermin said.
Founded in 2008, Airbnb is present in more than 34,000 cities and more than 190 countries.
PLDT Capital invests as much as $30M
Meanwhile, the newly introduced investment arm of PLDT is investing as much as $30 million to seal 3 more partnerships with online platforms.
Although he cannot disclose further details, PLDT President and CEO Napoleon Nazareno said on the sidelines of the briefing that “there are 3 ongoing partnerships,” which cost around “$5 million to $10 million each.”
PLDT Capital recently poured a $10-million investment into its partnership with US-based mobile app developer Phunware, Incorporated. — Rappler.com