The Department of Tourism signed Tuesday a partnership with the Department of Information and Communications Technology to introduce and improve Internet connectivity in 94 destinations across the country.
Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco said the partnership with the DICT is a part of the fulfillment of the President’s vision for tourism to become a pillar for economic development. She said the department is pursuing the recovery of the pandemic-hit sector.
“Our push for digitalization and connectivity will allow Philippine tourism to finally take a primary role in the ASEAN and the globe. This will propel us to even greater numbers than we have already achieved thus far,” the tourism chief said.
She said international visitor arrivals this year reached 2.4 million.
The DOT identified 94 tourist destinations that include Boracay, Palawan, Cebu, Bohol and Siargao. She said emerging and lesser-known destinations will be a priority for connectivity.
“This itself fulfills another objective under the Marcos administration for tourism, and that is to equalize tourism promotion and development because not only will it give opportunities for key destinations to continue to open for development, but also allow even the most far-flung tourist destinations and local government units opportunities to be heralded to the world as a viable tourism destination,” Frasco said.
DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy said the project would also look at the proper connectivity intervention per destination, whether fiber optics or satellites would be installed, and the security of the equipment.
“From the DICT perspective, we want to help all of the departments get the services out in a more effective, more efficient, less redundant manner,” he said.
The DOT said the collaboration was part of its goal to fully digitize tourist transactions and integrate them into one system to entice tourists, both foreign and local, to tour around the country seamlessly.
Frasco said having an improved Internet connectivity would further boost the gains of the sector that had contributed greatly to the country’s gross domestic product.
“Truly, there is no innovative tourism program that does not involve internet communications technology, and that is why this convergence expands through many aspects of tourism development,” she said.