Published on : Saturday, November 21, 2020
Smartphone technology is being made use of for restarting and reinvigorating the Philippines’ travel and tourism industry, which has been experiencing a total lockdown along with the rest of the country due to the fatal COVID-19 pandemic.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) recently launched the smartphone application Travel Philippines that would make all information handy for travelers if they wish to plan for trips for leisure and pleasure. The travel app would give access to users regarding the latest travel advisories and safety guidelines in various destinations that have reopened for tourists. The app would allow users to create itineraries for future trips, find up-to-date information on popular tourist attractions, and to store digital copies of travel documents.
The Philippines Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said during the launch, “The shift to digital [technology] is crucial to the success of the [travel and tourism] industry.”
Although the DOT and TPB would not set revenue targets for boosting domestic tourism expected from the new app, the travel and tourism industry surely needs a shot in the arm, with foreign tourist arrivals reduced to negligible numbers.
Tourist receipts dropped by almost 80 percent, declining 79.7 percent during the first 10 months of the year. Compared to P398.93 billion recorded during the same period last year, this year’s income has declined to P81.05 billion. The DOT said that there were no tourist arrivals from April to October since international tourists were not allowed in the Philippines.
The app has been developed by home-grown inclusion technology venture builder Himo Global Inc. and will feature photos and articles to introduce and remind people of popular tourist destinations, besides providing assistance regarding planning and preparation for and during the trip. It will answer frequently asked questions, provide destination guidelines will have a booking platform sooner or later.