The Department of Tourism and attached agency Tourism Promotions Board today launched “Travel Philippines” – the country’s official travel companion which provides users the access to the latest travel advisories and safety guidelines in various destinations that have reopened to tourism.
The easy-to-use and web-based platform allows users to create itineraries for their future trips, find up-to-date information on their favorite tourist attractions, and securely store digital copies of travel.
The app works online and offline and has the capability to run in all the known devices and browsers such as desktop and tablet, among others.
According to TPB Chief Operating Officer Atty. Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones, the agency invested P6 million for the project while the bulk of the funding worth P14 million was put in by venture builder HIMO Global Inc. as they have entered into a partnership agreement.
The DoT and the TPB again partnered with tech innovator Winston Damarillo, president of HIMO Global Inc. and CEO of Talino Venture Labs, also the creator of other government-endorsed contract tracing apps SafePass and EatIn Express.
“As we continue to reopen the country’s tourism destinations, Travel Philippines timely serves as every tourist’s official guide to safe and fun travel,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.
“With the ever-changing needs and challenges in travel brought about by the pandemic, Travel Philippines will help both domestic and international tourists have safer and more memorable travel experiences amid our ‘new normal’,” she added.
The app during the launching featured six major tourist destinations that are now allowing the entry of local tourists – Palawan, Boracay, Bohol, Baguio, Ilocos Norte, and Metro Manila.
Damarillo said the features will be regularly updated with the latest information related to the reopening, including tour packages, tourist transports, restaurants, and accommodation establishments that have reopened.
“We wanted to make sure that it’s a progressive web app because we expect this app to continuously evolve,” he said.
On top of the basic travel information about these destinations, Travel Philippines will also contain the latest health and safety protocols being implemented within these locations, sourced directly from their local tourism offices.
It will also feature a built-in itinerary maker that integrates with its extensive catalogue of tourist attractions, local restaurants, and accommodation establishments. Users can bookmark any of the locations they read about within the platform and plan out their trips based on their preferences.
Tourists can also upload into their personal Travel Philippines account digital copies of pertinent documents such as boarding passes, hotel reservations, medical certificates, negative COVID-19 test results, and QR codes for contact tracing, which can all be directly submitted to the concerned local government units (LGUs).
Through its encrypted platform, the app will offer users a go-to folder for all of their documents and forms, which they will be able to access even if their device does not have an internet connection.
“Travel Philippines marks DoT’s continued push to breathe new life into the severely affected tourism industry by promoting safe and responsible travel. We look forward to seeing both domestic and international tourists use Travel Philippines in their future trips,” Puyat said.