The battle for online travel in the Philippines: A review of Tripmoba versus Murang Lipad

Here at Travel Daily, we like to give readers a fair look into trends in the travel and tourism sector. While this might not be a steady review series, we hope this and any similar posts in the future will help shed light into areas with room for growth.

Tripmoba.com (literally ‘What’s your trip?’, which is actually Philippine slang for ‘Do you like it?’) and Muranglipad.com (literally ‘Cheap flights’) are both Philippine-made travel engines that promise instant and affordable bookings and confirmations.

Both have catchy names, but are actually backed by companies with extensive travel and tourism experience. Which now begs the question: which portal is the best one-stop online booking ‘shop’? We put each portal to the test.

Holding company and software

Tripmoba is built and managed by the e-commerce company Transnational eGlobal, Inc. (TeGI), a member of the Transnational Diversified Group (TDG). TDG has established itself in the ICT, travel, transport and logistic industries.

Murang Lipad is a digital extension of Triplestar Travel & Tours, a full-service travel agency that spun off from SEAIR International, a leisure airline best known for its Boracay and Palawan trips. That said, Murang Lipad handles ticket reservations for all major airlines and cruises servicing the country.

This contrast already set our expectations significantly. We can see how Tripmoba takes advantage of TDG’s extensive portfolio: the landing page allows you to seamlessly book flights, accommodations, and select themed getaways to domestic and international destinations. It even allows you the option to buy travel insurance for a worry-free flight!

Flight bookings

Another benefit to using Tripmoba is its recent partnership with Skyscanner, the global travel search site. Part of this agreement is the inclusion of travel experiences exclusive to Skyscanner users, helping Tripmoba reach its goal of being the go-to site for anyone travelling within, to or from the Philippines.

Unfortunately, Murang Lipad’s booking system for hotels and travel experiences is still in beta mode; it can only provide fare comparisons and purchase trip tickets for now.

When it comes to pricing, Murang Lipad and Tripmoba play on the same field with the same rules. Eagle-eyed customers can see that each portal charges a small fee for its booking service. With Filipinos always on the lookout for travel bargains – and travel-happy millennials in particular lead that trend – this has turned off some travellers into simply making up their own itineraries and booking straight with their airlines and hotels of choice.

UX and design

Tripmoba.com

The design of any website (or app) adds to the overall user experience. Given that both portals have straightforward booking interfaces set in place, we prefer the clean blue sky homepage of Murang Lipad over the sleek, black-and-white look of Tripmoba, even if the latter does have a changeable background (see that photo of the Ayala Triangle’s Christmas lights?).

That said, Murang Lipad truly has a mass market appeal thanks to its colourful logo and mascot which some millennials might not opt for.

The verdict

MurangLipad.com

So who wins this round? Well, right now it’s Tripmoba due to functionality and visibility. Out of the two portals, it’s the one that acts like a full-service online travel agency with its real-time booking and confirmation system for flights, hotels and tour packages.

We hope Murang Lipad can catch up soon, even if Tripmoba’s marketing machinery and heritage in multiple related industries give it a distinct advantage. Filipinos deserve more travel options that offer convenience.

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