Turista.ph app is transforming travel one tree at a time.
It’s not every day that one stumbles upon an app that captures the true spirit of mindful travel, but Turista.ph is one such gem that aims to catch the eye of discerning travelers. This nifty little platform seamlessly blends booking engine capabilities with tree-planting initiatives, all while empowering travelers to make a positive impact on our planet.
Francinne Roque-San Juan, the visionary founder of Turista.ph and a devoted travel technologist committed to sustainability, explained that Turista.ph represents a paradigm shift in the world of booking platforms. “It’s the first booking engine to offer fewer choices because we vet each one we offer, whereas most booking engines constantly add more,” she said. For every booking made through Turista.ph, a tree is planted in Sicogon Island’s tree nursery and wetlands, with the goal to plant at least 10,000 trees in the next three years, and even more over time.
But Turista.ph is not just a feel-good project; it’s also an app that offers a wide range of environment-friendly travel options, including sustainable hotels, carbon-neutral flights, and the opportunity to convert travel miles into planted trees. Roque-San Juan emphasizes that Turista.ph is committed to making responsible travel effortless and accessible. “We want to empower travelers to experience the breathtaking beauty of the Philippines while leaving a positive impact on the planet,” she added.
Turista.ph’s flagship destinations include El Nido, Sicogon, Cebu, Siargao, and Bohol, with five additional destinations being added next month. Roque-San Juan is quick to point out that, while technology powers the app, community support remains integral to its success. “Tech can function alone, but travel needs the backing of communities to make responsible travel a reality,” she explained.
Sicogon Island is a destination that showcases the beauty of the Philippines, with Ayala Land Inc.’s responsible development at its core. The island aims to promote inclusive growth with the community through tourism as a major tourism center of the region. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the island’s picturesque landscapes, including the iconic Mt. Opao visible from different vantage points. Huni Resort, located right in front of San Fernando Beach, is a personal favorite of mine, where I indulged in local scallops, a delicacy of the province.
To celebrate the International Day of Forests, the island recently launched the Lagoon Eco-Trail, which showcases its thriving forest that is home to various water birds, including the vulnerable Philippine Duck. Visitors can also spot Tabon birds or Philippine Scrubfowl that nest on the island, as well as Little Grebes, Egrets, and Black-Naped Terns that reside in the lagoon.
Turista.ph recently hosted a starlit Earth Hour soirée, and just a few days ago, the app launched its “TuREESta” tree planting initiative, pledging to plant a tree in Sicogon for every booking made on the platform. This includes a diverse range of native tree species, from Banilad and Bani to Molave, Narra, Talisay, and Fishtail Palm, which will create a sustainable ecosystem for years to come.
At its essence, Turista.ph strikes the perfect balance between convenience and sustainability. Roque-San Juan’s passion for travel and dedication to sustainability have led her to create an app that empowers travelers to make a tangible difference. As she notes, “Travel is one of life’s great pleasures, but with that pleasure comes the responsibility to protect and preserve the places we visit. Turista.ph allows travel to become a positive force for good.” And in today’s world, we need all the positivity we can get.