Digital innovations are playing a crucial role in the recovery of the tourism industry.
Makati City - Philippines - The Department of Tourism (DOT) of the Philippines announced that it has funded the digital transformation projects of several local government units (LGUs) through the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines as part of its efforts to push for smart tourism in the country.
“Digital innovations are playing a crucial role in the recovery of the tourism industry. Not only do they improve the efficiency of business operations, and promotions, they also allow for a safer environment through contactless transactions, virtual meetings, and visitor registration and monitoring,” said Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat.
As of June 2021, the TPB has downloaded a total of PHP 111,653,600.00 to LGUs for smart tourism projects involving the development of the VIS.I.T.A. platform (an online visitor management and monitoring system), local tourism websites and mobile applications, and digital marketing tools.
With Baguio City having led the development and deployment of the V.I.S.I.T.A. app in October 2020, recipients of this now include the regions of Ilocos and Pangasinan, Central and Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Metro Manila, and the provinces of Bohol, Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, Quirino and Zambales, and the cities of Bacolod, Davao, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Tuguegarao, and the municipalities of Agoncillo, El Nido and Pasil.
A recent output of the funding is the launch of Oriental Mindoro's tourism website www.travelorientalmindoro.ph and mobile application “Lakbay Oriental Mindoro” last July 8 as a digital travel guide to the province’s 14 municipalities.
Through the TPB Philippines, the DOT has funded various programs and projects focusing on securing health and safety and restoring confidence of the consumers; refocusing packages and promotional specials; and marketing and communication of promotional materials.
These programs include the partnership with the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) and the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) to subsidize 50 percent of the hospitals’ RT-PCR testing cost for qualified domestic tourists who only need to pay PHP 750 for the RT-PCR test in PCMC and PHP 900 UP-PGH.
The TPB funding also extends to programs that uphold sustainable initiatives and responsible travel, such as community immersion and interaction which are non-exploitative and not staged; slow food, slow travel concept providing added value to travelers, farm-to-table activities, and health and wellness activities.