PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications will participate in the activities leading to the celebration of 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines through its digital tourism program.
Smart made the announcement recently and disclosed that the program will support preparation activities of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) for the 2021 milestone.
“Through our digital tourism program, we hope to promote awareness on the significance and magnitude of this event,” said Smart Visayas-Mindanao public affairs head Maria Jane Paredes. “We are honored to be part of this celebration, which is an important one for the Filipino faithful,” Paredes added.
Smart’s digital tourism program harnesses technology to deliver cultural, historical, and travel information to mobile users. It involves the creation of apps, mobile guides, and interactive materials that give tourists and locals comprehensive and localized information about various destinations in the country, including heritage sites, nature parks, historic cities, and notable churches.
Paredes made the announcement during the launch of the digital tourism program for the city of Dumaguete and the provinces of Negros Oriental and Siquijor in the presence of Bishop Julito Cortes, Msgr. Julius Heruela, and other officials of the Diocese of Dumaguete, as well as local government executives, Smart representatives, and media guests.
Under the program, interactive tourism markers equipped with quick response (QR) codes and near field communication (NFC) chips will be installed at town halls and selected tourist destinations. When scanned through a mobile device, the QR and NFC devices will open a web link on the user’s smartphone that provides detailed information about the site, such as history, operating hours, and other interesting trivia.
The digital tourism program is a collaboration by local government units, tourism offices, and dioceses, and other partners with Department of Tourism, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Smart, and InnoPub Media. Launched in 2012 in Cebu, it has been implemented in Antique, Baguio City, Bicol Region, Davao and Metro Manila, among other areas.
As part of a digital tourism and catechism initiative, Smart also recently unveiled interactive tourism markers at Saints Peter and Paul Parish Church in Bantayan, Cebu. The program has also been implemented at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral and in heritage churches in Carcar, Argao, Dalaguete, Sibonga, and Boljoon, among other areas in Cebu.
Dumaguete Bishop Julito Cortes scans the QR code for Siquijor’s San Isidro Labrador Parish Church or Lazi Church.
Smart Visayas-Mindanao public affairs head Maria Jane Paredes (second from right) and representatives of the Diocese of Dumaguete led by Bishop Julito Cortes (third from right) pose for photos during the launch of the digital tourism and catechism initiative for Siquijor and Negros Oriental.
Representatives of Smart and the Diocese of Dumaguete pose for a group photo.