The Department of Tourism (DOT) formally partnered with Guide to the Philippines, an e-commerce site, in launching its official travel booking system, featuring DOT-accredited tour operators and establishments.
During the signing of the memorandum of agreement with Guide to the Philippines General Manager Rabbi Vincent Ang, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat highlighted the evolving trends in travel and tourism.
“Digital transformation, whether you like it or not, is inevitable.”
“Digital transformation whether you like it or not is inevitable, that is why we in the DOT are dedicated to innovating our tourism products and services to maintain the competitiveness of the industry,” Romulo-Puyat said.
The booking website’s introduction follows a 2016 DOT study that revealed booking sites as “one of the most influential channels” when a tourist considers a destination.
Through the system managed by Guide to the Philippines, tourists can choose from more than 500 best-value travel products offered by DOT-accredited tourism establishments and tour operators.
DOT Assistant Secretary Howard Lance Uyking said the system has an online library of in-depth travel guides that could help travelers plan their trip better.
“We’re putting a set of standards to assure customer service.”
“If you’ve gone around social media, you can see a lot of posts where dream vacation was ruined because of the tour operator’s mismanagement so that’s what we’re trying to resolve when you accredit with DOT because we’re putting a set of standards to assure customer service,” Uyking said.
Accredited tourism establishments interested to join can reach out to the Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP), the tourism official added.
“You can always tell TCP to join the website and then we can link you to Guide to the Philippines. We can feature you as long as you have good offers and the quality of your packages (is good), there’s no entrance fee,” he said.