DOT and TPB Launch Official Philippine Travel Progressive Web App

Published November 6, 2020, 8:58 AM

by Robert "Bob" Reyes

One of the pain points for those who wish to travel (domestic) during this pandemic are the different documentary requirements and health protocols implemented by different LGUs (Local Government Units). As a techie, how I wish that there is a central government website (which is updated as frequent as possible), where people can check on the latest bulletins and guidelines related to domestic travel.

This pain point is somehow eliminated as the country now has an official travel companion: the Travel Philippines app. Launched by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), the app provides users access to the latest travel advisories and safety guidelines in various destinations that have so far reopened to tourism activities.

This easy-to-use 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 documents.

“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. 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’,” according to DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

The Travel Philippines app was developed by the DOT and TPB in partnership with HIMO Global, Inc. as a Progressive Web App (PWA).

PWA what? A Progressive Web Application (PWA) is a software delivered via the Web. PWAs are built using common web technologies (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript), and are intended to work on any platform (and device) that uses a standards-compliant browser. What makes PWAs awesome is the ability for such app to work offline – even when your device is not connected to the Internet.

Travel Philippines also has a built-in itinerary maker that integrates with an extensive catalog 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, and medical certificates. 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.

“Unlike other travel companions, we created the go-to companion for the traveler in the new normal, prioritizing ease in access to the latest safety information about their favorite destinations,” said Winston Damarillo, President of HIMO Global Inc. and CEO of Talino Venture Labs.

Within Travel Philippines is an extensive database of various destinations and attractions that are reopening after the COVID-19 community quarantines. At launch, Travel Philippines features six major tourist destinations: Palawan, Boracay, Bohol, Baguio, Ilocos Norte, and Metro Manila.

The App will be regularly updated with the latest information on these six locations as well as more travel destinations around the Philippines. 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.