PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications (Smart) maximized technology innovations in 2018 to support Philippine tourism initiatives.
Through #TravelSmart, the telecommunications company created mobile guide apps and eguides in collaborations with tech startup Innopub Media and partners from various local government units. Also included in the program is the installation of interactive tourism markers at selected landmarks and attractions. The markers feature QR codes and NFC chips that can download detailed information about the site onto one’s smartphone.
Last year, the digital tourism program continued to connect travelers to more unique destinations in various communities within Antique, Capiz, Davao, Iloilo, and Sorsogon. Information on these provinces were included in the Antique Guide, Iloilo Guide, and #SoSorsogon apps, as well as in the expanded KulToura app of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. These travel guide apps contain information such as historical background, local folklore, and other interesting cultural trivia. The apps also list things to do and places to see.
Local government officials also installed the interactive tourism markers at various locations in the provinces. In Antique, tourists may find out that the first Malaysian settlement in the Philippines was built in Hamtic town; in Sorsogon, travelers may learn where to find the province’s pink sand beaches, surfing spots, and river cruises; and in Iloilo, sightseers may rediscover the clear aquamarine waters and stretches of white sand of the Islas de Gigantes in Carles, among other pristine destinations.
“These digital innovations can help increase tourist visits in the areas where these are deployed,” said Smart public affairs head Ramon Isberto. “By making localized information on travel and culture accessible to more people — that is, through their phones — digital tourism program can help further enhance tourism in communities all over the Philippines.”
The apps developed by Smart and InnoPub may be downloaded for free on both Android and iOS devices.
The digital tourism program of Smart and InnoPub is a nationwide initiative, in cooperation with LGUs, that harnesses technology to deliver tourism, cultural and historical information to mobile users. It was launched in 2012 and has since been implemented in Baguio City, Cebu, Davao and Metro Manila, among other areas.