Tigbauan officials receive the municipality’s tourism QR code from representatives of the Iloilo tourism office, Smart and InnoPub. Nineteen other LGUs received their own tourism QR codes, including Miagao, Oton, Leon, Leganes, Badiangan, Cabatuan, Passi City, Dingle, Carles, Concepcion, San Joaquin, Alimodian, Ajuy, Igbaras, Janiuay, Banate, Santa Barbara, Guimbal and Tubungan.
The government of Iloilo, in partnership with Smart Communications and InnoPub Media, has presented the interactive tourism markers that will be installed at town halls and selected tourist destinations all over the province.
These markers are equipped with quick response (QR) codes and near field communication (NFC) chips. When scanned through a mobile app, the QR and NFC devices will activate a browser window that will provide detailed information about the site on the user’s smartphone.
“These QR codes can help maximize tourist visits in the areas where these are deployed,” said Rene Cortum of the Department of Tourism–Western Visayas during the launch.
“By making information on travel and culture accessible to more people — that is, through their phones — the digital tourism program can help further enhance tourism here,” said Maria Jane Paredes, head of Smart Public Affairs Visayas-Mindanao.
Through the markers, tourists can discover information on Iloilo’s LGUs, such as local history and best destinations in the area. For instance, travelers to Carles may learn more about Islas de Gigantes, with its aquamarine waters, lush greens and stretches of white sand. Students and design enthusiasts, for their part, may read about the Rendicion de Tetuan or the 1859 Spanish victory over Moroccan forces, which is depicted in bas-relief at the San Joaquin Church, among other cultural and historical trivia.
QR and NFC readers are either pre-installed on most smartphones or available as free apps. This makes it easier for most mobile users to access information through the interactive tourism markers, according to InnoPub cofounder Max Limpag.
The markers are part of the Iloilo Digital Tourism Program, which was unveiled during the 117th Semana sang Iloilo earlier this year. The program includes the Iloilo Guide app, a mobile guide that features information useful to visitors and students, such as historical background, local folklore, and other interesting cultural trivia. It also lists things to do and places to see.
The Iloilo Guide app, as well as the other digital tourism guides developed by InnoPub and Smart, may be downloaded for free on both Android and iOS devices.
In partnership with government units, the digital tourism program of Smart and InnoPub is a nationwide initiative that harnesses technology to deliver tourism, cultural and historical information to mobile users.
The program was launched in 2012 and has since been implemented in Antique, Baguio City, Cebu, Davao and Metro Manila, among other areas.