DoT, DICT ink deal to digitalize services, improve connectivity in tourist destinations
Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco and Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan John Uy (All photos courtesy of Department of Tourism)
The Department of Tourism recently formally signed a partnership with the Department of Information and Communications Technology to introduce and further improve internet connectivity in 94 identified tourist destinations across the country, and digitalize tourism services nationwide.
The ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Understanding was held at the DoT office on 20 December, led by the heads of the two departments, Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco and Secretary Ivan John Uy, and witnessed by their respective undersecretaries and other key officials.
Frasco said this partnership with the DICT is part of the fulfillment of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s vision for tourism to become a pillar of economic development, while the Department pursues at the same time 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,” Frasco said. International tourist arrivals pegged at 1.7 million for 2022 have already reached 2.4 million before yearend.
According to Frasco, the DoT has identified 94 tourist destinations that will be part of the project. Aside from the tourist magnets Boracay, Palawan, Cebu, Bohol, and Siargao, emerging and lesser-known destinations will be the priority.
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,” she said.
Uy expressed his admiration for the initiatives of Frasco. “Some are really just common sense but took some time to implement for others, but for her, political will was there and she’s able to deliver it very, very quickly and directly, and to many and others it’s out-of-the-box thinking using imagination, using creativity in order to be able to introduce all of these wonderful interventions to our tourism sector,” he said.
“From the DICT perspective, we want to help all of the departments, all of the departments to be utilized, get the services out in a more effective, more efficient, less redundant manner,” Uy added.
Frasco said the collaboration was part of the DoT’s goal to fully digitize all manners of tourist transactions and integrate them into one system to further entice tourists, both foreign and local, to tour around the country seamlessly.
She also believes that having improved internet connectivity will boost the gains of the tourism sector, which has contributed greatly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product over the years.
“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,” Frasco said.
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