See the World and Still Stay in Touch with Customers

When Mia Geronimo and Paolo Roces told their families about Destination Getaways, it was a lukewarm reception at best. Travel agencies, said their parents, were a thing of the past: "Wala nang pumupunta diyan! Lahat online na ngayon!"

They took it all in stride. Roces and Geronimo, both seasoned travelers, counted on carving their place in an increasingly digital world—and sure enough, Destination Getaways is part of a new wave of travel startups led by young, tech-savvy entrepreneurs. Their online travel agency offers detailed and customized itineraries and packages, grounded in its founders' expansive jetsetting experience.

Destination Getaways Tells You How to See the World and Still Stay in Touch with Your Customers

"Traveling is something everyone wants to do right now," says Geronimo. Destination Getaways is a passion project born out of their shared hobby—she and Roces love to travel, having seen the world together. In turn, their business, founded two years ago, hopes to sate their customers’ own wanderlust with travel experiences that are easy, convenient, and accessible.

Their competitive edge? Authenticity. Every trip is immersive and personalized. "We connect [our clients] with genuine experiences and inspire them to take on different activities—sometimes these are things that they can take out of their bucket lists,” she says. "We really invest in making the experience personal. Travel is dynamic and full of life. You get to discover yourself."

There's nothing Destination Getaways offers that doesn't already bear their stamp of approval: The pair travel as often as four times a month, both locally and abroad, to check out new destinations firsthand, meet with tour operators, and make ocular visits to hotels and resorts. "We have to make sure that what [these places] project really delivers," Geronimo explains. "We try it first, so we can personally relay our experience with our clients when they consult with us. Experience is really something that can transform you. It's nice to be able to put together a package that you believe in." It may sound fun, but it involves hard work: Each trip is meticulously planned six months ahead of time.

In a break from their traditional counterparts, Geronimo and Roces don't run Destination Getaways out of a brick-and mortar office. In fact, they're never in one place for too long. "Most of the time, we work anywhere. We're fairly mobile, so any time of the day we can send a response as quick as we can through mobile data," says Roces.

Customer service never sleeps, not even when you're scouting for exotic locales around the globe. Their connectivity has kept their business ahead of the curve, allowing Roces and Geronimo to provide their clients hands-on attention: "One time, we were in Dubai and a client called to request a specific tour be added to his booking," recalls Geronimo. "Despite the different time zones, we were able to deliver this service to the client".

This isn’t the first, or last time, it’s happened. They often find themselves fielding requests from customers in the middle of the night, or mere hours before the client's plane takes off. Unfazed, Roces claims it comes with the territory: "Being in this business really demands much time and effort, so we really try to work 24/7. Even if we're out of the country, we make sure that we're connected," he says.

For Roces and Geronimo, being within reach of their customers at any time is more than a point of pride—in their line of work, it's a survival strategy. After all, much of their research, bookings, and planning are carried out online. "Since everything is online right now, we really rely on the Internet," he says. "Technology is at the very core of being an online travel agency. We have to have data wherever we go, so that we're always accessible to our clients' Viber and email inquiries."

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