David Palmieri on disrupting the way we travel

David Palmieri, chief executive officer of Aquila, Inc. and president and CEO of SigeGo Corp., a Filipino-owned company, believes in the transformative potential of digital technology in improving the travel experience.

In an interview on Daily Tribune’s digital show, Pairfect, Palmieri enthused about the company’s latest and biggest venture in the Philippines — to be launched in June.

The project is a public-private partnership formed with the Travel and Tourism Board of the Philippines. In order to better the lives of Filipinos and advertise the nation’s tourism industry abroad, the alliance intends to create a groundbreaking smart lifestyle application.

Photograph Courtesy of Gravatar | David Palmieri, chief executive officer of Aquila, Inc. and president and CEO of SigeGo Corp.

Simplenight, a global technology leader in building innovative enterprise solutions, is SigeGo Corp.’s partner in this venture. Simplenight is known for “powering some of the largest travel brands worldwide.” Palmieri is also the acting chief commercial officer of Simplenight.

SigeGo is a super app much like most booking apps, but on a wider scale. Putting together SigeGo was something right up Aquila, Inc.’s alley, being a leading strategic advice and consultancy firm in the travel sector.

The Philippines, known for its stunning natural scenery and welcoming people, makes a perfect location for this creative initiative.

“It was really a great place to kind of start off this smart kind of smart lifestyle application to enhance the lifestyle of the Filipino people. Then also to focus on promoting the Philippines for inbound travel,” Palmieri remarked.

The SigeGo app will include a variety of niches, such as lodging, ground transportation, food, entertainment, excursions, activities and parking. Users’ interactions with the travel industry will change as a result of the convenience of being able to plan and handle all parts of their trip on a single platform.

The project’s development and success are greatly aided by partners like Union Bank, Visa, Sabre, Amadeus and Cloudstaff.

The low usage of credit cards in the Philippines, which hinders easy digital transactions, is one of the main issues Aquila seeks to solve.

“Some of the barriers really seem to lie on the payment side,” Palmieri said.

In order to handle several payment methods, such as cash, bank cards and gift cards, the company has created a payment system. This open-minded strategy guarantees that users with various payment preferences can access and use of the features of the SigeGo program.

When asked about the marketing strategy, the Aquila CEO emphasized the importance of spreading the word about the project amid the growing competition in the travel tech industry. The company has enlisted the services of a prominent marketing firm called Active Social, which will help create awareness and generate interest in the lifestyle app.

The Philippines’ travel industry is expected to undergo a big transition thanks to the CEO’s vision and Aquila’s experience.

The SigeGo app promises to improve Filipinos’ quality of life, support small local businesses, and highlight the country’s rich heritage of culture.