PinoyTravel: Aurora Mendoza-Soriano and her aspirations towards accessible transportation
By Asha Gutierrez
The originator of unique visualizations
Aurora Mendoza-Soriano is no average woman, asides from being the present
e-commerce company founder and CEO of Pinoy Travels Inc, she is also an expert in marketing and business development in the mobile telecommunications industry for more than twenty years. She specializes in work that relates to Telecommunications, Mobile Devices, and Business Developments. In each of her job experiences, she transversed the progress of the companies through her intellectual and disciplined quality.
Aurora is a graduate of Mapua Institute of Technology, in Electronics and Communications, Engineering. She is formerly an Operations Engineer for RCPI, a Manager for the Radio Communications of the Philippines Inc, an Assistant Vice President of Landline Marketing at Bayan Telecommunication, an Assistant Vice President of National Carrier Relations at Globe Telecom, a Head of the Multimedia Business Group & Innovations Development Dept at Globe Telecom Philippines, and a Head of Strategic Business Development at Smart Communications, Inc.
A never-ending progressive woman of change
Aurora is known for introducing new and innovative services to the consumer market. Pinoy Travels is the first ever online seat reservation services for long distance buses and ferries in the Philippines. Aurora was able to start this idea by winning the incubation and funding program of IdeaSpace Foundation with her team during its first competition in the year 2013. There were seven hundred participants in this competition. They won and thus were able to launch their service in October 2013. No one was doing online booking for the buses and ferries at that time. “It was an opportunity that we saw and so we launched,” Aurora said.
It was hard to start-up this idea at first given that the bus companies were unwilling to go online. For them, the change was too difficult—reservations, a complicated unnecessary method. Buying the tickets in lines in advance was the only option then. Through her perseverance, she was able to finally have one of the companies sign up and then it grew slowly given that the industry follows a traditional order.
Travelling has never been this easier before
Pinoy Travel, being the first and leading long-distance online bus booking reservation service in the Philippines. You can now find access to booking your own bus trips easily from Manila to Baler, Baguio, Manaoag, Dagupan, Tuguegarao, Puerto Princesa, El Nido, Legaspi Albay, Visayas, and even as far as Mindanao.
Innovative is what comes to her mind with Pinoy Travels. It is new and effective.
Asides from using credit cards to reserve a ticket, people can also go and pay through non-banks such as the SM Bayad centers. You can also go and pay to the bank. (over-the-counter) This answers to the question of non-card users. Pawnshops are also an option. “Ninety percent of our payments are made through over-the-counter,” Aurora admits. Everything should be as simple as possible and easier for the customers is the key.
A wider audience for new ideas
The Department of Tourism has already taken notice of Pinoy Travels. With an approval of their company’s service, DOT even suggested that they do the same service for ferries. They are now booking for Super Cat Fast Ferry Corporation, 2GO, Fast track, and more shipping companies are also starting to sign up. Aurora emphasizes that being in the Philippines means traveling to places such as the islands without the need for bus functions—sometimes ferries are the best option for transportation.
She believes that she has created her systems to be adaptable to the needs of the people who travel around the Philippines. She wants to work on finding out what the clients want and need in order to improve Pinoy Travels. Patience and understanding become a concept that improves new ideas. Such a process helps to fully automate.
The importance of organizing your travels effectively
Aurora truly fought for her vision because she believed that change should always be necessary for a great improvement. Persistence is what made her idea a convincing reality as it expanded. The bus companies soon realized Aurora’s new outlook as an advantage for them. Twenty huge bus companies now have already signed up to her while she creates new invigorating changes in the system. Amongst these companies are the following: ALPS, JAM, Genesis, DLTBCO, and Philtranco. She is now making a better website that can easily accommodate all transport companies. Pinoy Travel is now famous not only locally but also in other countries through other travelers
“Profitability comes later after you’ve finished caring.” Aurora believes. This is one of the many reasons why she has created Pinoy Travel efficiently. In order to improve something, one has to wait in order for one to grow more. Never give up is her motto as she continues to fight on her goals and never lose faith. “Solutions always come to every problem.” she alludes as she believes in a patient process for more development.