Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Interview with Florence Rivera, Entrepreneur, Founder & CEO of Travelbug PH

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1- Hello Florence, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi! You can call me Flo and I love to travel. I’ve been around most of the major cities and regions in the Philippines and the world. I’m also a trainer/teacher/speaker/writer (of sorts) and sharing my stories, ideas, and insights to other people make me happy. In 2014, I started a company called Travelbug PH – a travel business with a lofty objective: to promote travel as a form of education, and infect everyone with the travel BUG!

2- What are your focus areas and why?

-Educating and training travel entrepreneurs to become responsible, knowledgeable travel industry players.

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-Creating specialized tours that will showcase the unique charm of the Philippines to both domestic and international tourists.

3- How do you describe your journey in few words?

My journey as a travel entrepreneur has so far been exciting, exhilarating and rewarding like a really great, high-speed roller-coaster ride!

4- Can you tell us about your business “Travelbug PH”?

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Travelbug PH is a full-service travel services company – we have Philippine and International tour packages for both inbound & outbound tourists, we offer visa assistance, hotel & flight bookings, hotel-only or tours-only bookings for DIY travelers, and a lot of other travel-related services. We also provide travel business workshops and training to those who want to work as home-based, freelance travel agents, or those who want to start their own independent travel agencies.

5- Where do you think you are making an impact?

Travelbug PH wants to make the most impact in the lives of those we train to start their own travel businesses. We hope to equip them with the necessary mindset, skills, and tools not just to start but thrive in this booming industry. The country needs more talent to develop its soft tourism infrastructure and ecosystem.

6- What were some of the biggest challenges you encountered while working on “Travelbug PH”?

I always tell people that it is not enough for one to be passionate about travel to succeed in this business. The travel business is foremost of all, a business! And like any other businesses, there will be a lot of challenges.

I remember in our first year of operations, our retainer accountant disappeared one day and we never recovered our money. When we moved our business permit to a different city, we also faced a lot of impediments. It took us almost three months just to get all the permits.

Starting a business in the PH is a very challenging endeavor. A year and a few months into our operations, I almost gave up. Luckily, I persevered and thought of ways to grow the business. From being home-based, I decided to open a small office. Month after month, more and more opportunities showed up and with them, more roadblocks and impediments. I realized – this is what entrepreneurship is about – it’s not the absence of challenges, it is how you manage those challenges and turn them into golden opportunities. The challenges never go away, you just get used to them.

7- Where do you see the company in the next 5 years?

I see Travelbug PH helping more and more entrepreneurs learn and earn from travel – which is a really enjoyable business. The tourism industry in the Philippines is a young industry and the potential is limitless. I also want to see Travelbug PH lead the way in creating new and exciting tours that will showcase the unique beauty of Philippine destinations.

8- What can you tell young entrepreneurs who are pursuing their dreams?

Never give up on your dreams but remember that dreams will remain such without action. If you want your dreams to come true, get up and do something! Take that first step. Learn about the business, find someone to mentor you, start small – but build it up fast.

9- What are you most excited about at the moment?

I am most excited about the travel business workshops that we now give to aspiring entrepreneurs as well as the new, exciting tours we are cooking up! Watch out for some of our unique and specialized tours, coming soon!

10- The last word or final thoughts?

Travel whenever you get the opportunity. Spend money collecting moments, not things. Experiences last a lifetime; gadgets and material things only last for 2-5 years- after that their value depreciates. Book with Travelbug PH and we will make sure you get a hassle-free and memorable experience each time!

If you also want to learn how to start your own travel business, we have regular schedules available.

You may contact us at:
Landline: (02) 7273537
Mobile/Whatsapp/Viber: +63 998 995 9778 [for inquiries & bookings) [for travel workshops] [website] [Facebook page]

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Noelle Elia
Noelle Elia
is a Financial analyst at PSPC. Graduated from Telfer School of Management, Finance/Accounting with interest to Entrepreneurship and New Media.
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