More travelers can now discover new and exciting destinations all over the country as PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications maximized technology innovations in 2018 to support Philippine tourism initiatives.

Through its digital tourism program, #TravelSmart, more destinations in the Philippines are now accessible to travelers wherever they are in the world. The program is a collaboration of Smart, tech startup Innopub Media and partners from various local government units, in the creation of mobile guide apps and e-guides, and 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.

A phone shows the home page of the KulToura app, with the Davao City Hall as background.

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 the said 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 useful to visitors and students, such as historical background, local folklore and other interesting cultural trivia. The apps also list things to do and places to see.

Provincial officials also installed the interactive tourism markers at various locations in the said provinces. In Antique, for instance, 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.

A mobile user scans the tourism QR code at the Casa Real in Iloilo City.

“These digital innovations can help increase tourist visits in the areas where these are deployed. By making localized information on travel and culture accessible to more people-that is, through their phones-the digital tourism program can help further enhance tourism in communities all over the Philippines,” said Smart public affairs head Ramon R. Isberto.

The apps developed by Smart and InnoPub 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 Baguio City, Cebu, Davao and Metro Manila, among other areas.

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