Fueled by her passion for traveling, owner of DIY Travel Philippines Michelle Enriquez shared the story behind the continuous growth and success of running the leading travel social media group in the country.
At a young age, Enriquez was not able to discover the Philippines as her family resided in other countries such as Singapore and the United Kingdom.
Despite seeing the beauty of international countries, Enriquez admitted having a goal of seeing the beauty of her homeland, which urged her to build an online media community named “DIY Travel Philippines.”
Back in 2015, when social media groups about travel were not well known to many, Enriquez found the perfect time to introduce her group and also used it as her guide to exploring the country.
“I wanted to see the Philippines from the eyes of those who have already traveled,” Enriquez said.
Helping her achieve both her own travel goals and those of other Filipino tourists, DIY Travel Philippines became a hit with travelers in regard to itineraries, accommodations, and even travel guidelines.
Even during the pandemic, when lockdowns and travel restrictions were implemented, Enriquez did not lose hope in her online group as she saw its potential, even in trying times.
“Actually during pandemic, puro throwback pictures ang lumabas. […] Tapos when travel started opening, it became the place to ask about travel restrictions and requirements,” Enriquez said.
In fact, she disclosed that their community hit a million followers during the pandemic, which made it evident that traveling is still relevant even with restrictions.
With this, they have used this growing community to make Philippine tourism more known to many. “Noong nag-open na ang travel [after the pandemic], ang unang naging goal namin is to promote local tourism,” she said.
The online group has already accumulated over 1.3 million members and is disclosed to accommodate over 50 to 100 travel posts daily from its participants.
Other than its increase in members, Enriquez shared how this community also helped not only Filipinos but also small foreign travel businesses such as Tuk-Tuk drivers in Cambodia.
These foreign entrepreneurs were able to be highlighted by the travelers who shared their own experiences with their services.
With its massive growth of members and posts, Enriquez also found a helping hand from the participants in their community, who became her volunteer workers in monitoring and filtering the Facebook group.
She also built a strong connection with her group members as they annually planned get-together travels within the country.
Other than giving a platform to tourists in sharing their travel insights, Enriquez also gained partnerships with travel agencies due to its wide audience variations.
Noting its growing scope, Enriquez disclosed their plans to branch out their Facebook group onto other media platforms.
This year, she said that they plan to venture into today’s trending social media platforms, such as YouTube and TikTok, to give travel insights to more audiences.
Despite today’s sudden trend of travel-related social media groups, Enriquez disclosed that they do not view it as a threat to their group as they already have the trust of their members.
She has also emphasized that their goal of maintaining a close community among the members of the group makes them stand out compared to other travel-related online communities.
Highlighting the essence of exploring a country, Enriquez believed that travel will always be relevant, even in the future, and urged them to just continue pursuing this field to inspire more people to enjoy life and travel while they can!