Cagayan Valley and Northern Philippine Islands

DOT Approves Funding of First-Ever Mobile App for Contact Tracing, Statistics, Promotion

CAUAYAN CITY, Isabela – The Department of Tourism, under the leadership of Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat, has approved the funding for the design and creation of the Cagayan Valley Region’s contact tracing and tourism management online platform, a tourism mobile application for local government units (LGUs) and the private sector.

Regional Director Fanibeth T. Domingo said the project is funded by the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) at a cost of two million pesos is the agency’s way for the industry to recover while ensuring a seamless journey anchored on the readiness of the LGUs in the region to receive visitors.

The regional director said the project aims to restore the confidence to travel in Region 2 and reduce the perception of risk to repairing the destination image; to reopen domestic tourism while ensuring the adherence to health and safety protocols, and to support the tourism industry of the local government units while adapting to the new normal.

It should be noted that the global outbreak of the COVID – 19 pandemic has led many industries and countries to suffer, with tourism as the most affected industry because of the travel restrictions placed all over the world.

Domingo said the shutdown of many industries associated with tourism and hospitality resulted in economic downturn and the skyrocketing of the unemployment rate prompting the government and the tourism industry to institute measures for the industry to bounce back.

For the industry to recover, travelers need to feel safe and confident that their health is protected as they enjoy the tourist destinations and tourism activities, she said. She emphasized that the host communities be likewise assured that visitors and guests are not carriers of COVID-19 in order that tourism activities will thrive in the long run.

Tourism is seen as a good way to boost economic recovery efforts and the role of marketing communications in restoring confidence to travel is important, she said.

However, communicating with the tourist market will entail different strategies from correcting negative perceptions about the scale of the pandemic to restoring confidence in the destination, reducing perceptions of risk to repairing the destination image, Domingo said.

She added that crowd and border controls will be more enhanced when use of technology like contact tracing is included in the protocols of tourist destinations.

The features and functions of the mobile app include the following: it is downloadable on IOS and Android, free of charge and with the user required to sign up with some basic information for data analysis and for possible contact tracing, with online and offline utilization.

The app which is interactive, shall have fun facts about the region, useful travel words and phrases, satellite and/or 3D maps, and shall display all the region’s destinations classified by type of attraction and address.

The app shall also have a QR scanner for specific LGUs identified by the DOT as technical assistance for the reopening of domestic tourism and shall contain the Health and Safety Guidelines governing the operations of tourism destinations and tourism activities.

Such logos of the DOT as Your Islands and Valley of Fun and It’s More Fun in the Philippines will be used by the App. The App shall be linked to the Regional website for tourism and other social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.

Domingo said the service provider shall maintain the App for three years. However, the LGU shall have full private access to the App, while the creators will be given administrative access to the App for three years. All data provided are strictly confidential and for the Department of Tourism, Region 2 only.#PR/RTFAN/#19


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