Iloilo City starts up digital tourism

digital-tourismdigital tourismThe city government is upgrading its system in promoting the metro through digital tourism.

Particular tourism markers containing QR or quick response codes have been placed in the selected heritage and tourism areas in Iloilo and that when scanned with a phone or tablet, the QR codes will direct it to the tourism site for the download of information.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said digital tourism is another trendsetter from the city.

The digital promotion, which is sponsored by Smart Communications, Inc. and the new media start up InnoPub media, allows the tourists visiting Iloilo to have a handy guide in exploring the city and province.

“Today’s technologies allow us to put a layer of information on real life that is accessible to through mobile devices”, said InnoPub Media co-founder Max Limpag.

Limpag said the project showcases and harnesses the power of technology to support the tourism industry, a key sector of our economy.

One can access and download information once the gadget is equipped with internet connection and QR code scanner.

QR codes and electronic guidebooks offer the visitor a unique experience while travelling  by providing them significant information about Iloilo’s rich culture and history.

The system comprises a mobile guide to Iloilo including a list of places to explore and focal persons and numbers to communicate.

The digital guide, which is produced in partnership with Cebu Pacific, is downloadable for phones, tablets e-readers thru e-books.

Smart Communications, Inc. Corporate Communications and Social Innovations – Public Affairs Group Nick Wilwayco said then applications that utilizes location-based services and scanning tools are gaining popularity with the widespread use of these features in a lot of smart phones, android phones and tablets and other devices.

The program also includes a mobile website that allows tourists to view an interactive map of places to go based on their locations. To view suggested areas, tourists need to turn on their gadget’s global positioning system or GPS, open and enable location sharing.

“We’re excited to work with our partners in building this local tourism project for Iloilo City. We see this as a good model that can be adopted in other cities rich in heritage and culture,” he added.

Identified landmarks with QR codes are the Iloilo City Hall Gallery, Plaza Libertad, Molo Church, Balay na Bato in Arevalo, and Casa Rizaliana in Molo.

 The city is working out to expand the installation of QR codes to other tourist attractions in the city and eventually in the province of Iloilo.

Eugene Jamerlan of the Iloilo City Cultural Heritage Conservation Council said the digital tourism program ushers Iloilo City into the 21st century with its possibilities of digital technology. “The power behind this is multi-institutional collaboration including government and private, individual and institutional interdisciplinary expertise”, he disclosed.

Jamerlan added that the landmark information were thoroughly researched with local and international basis from the Center for Western Visayas books and the University of California, known for its considerable number of Filipiniana anthology.

This technological endeavour is a combined efforts of public and private entities thru the Department of Tourism (DOT-6), Iloilo City Cultural Heritage Conservation Council (ICCHCC), UP Visayas Center for West Visayan Studies (CWVS), InnoPub Media, and Smart Communications Inc., and the Iloilo City and Provincial Government.