Free internet service in 94 tourist sites coming — DICT
MANILA, Philippines — The government will provide free internet service in 94 major tourist sites in the country to make the Philippines a “tourism powerhouse,” Department of Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan John Uy said on Tuesday.
In a Palace briefing, Uy said the first phase of the plan would cover 46 tourist sites, which could get free internet by the third quarter of 2023.
These, he said, will include areas in Baguio City, Palawan, Boracay, Cebu, and several other “priority” tourist destinations.
“[This is] to ensure that our tourists will have complete experience in tourism areas. As you very well know, many tourists now are vloggers. They vlog about their experience while they are experiencing or enjoying the tourism sites,” Uy said.
“So it is critical that we provide them with the internet connectivity while they are there enjoying the experience,” he added.
Uy added that these vlogs could also serve as a marketing tool to promote the Philippines as a tourism hub further.
He said the DICT would also help the Philippines’ consular service by deploying an e-visa system.
“We are also cooperating with all these agencies and looking at private partners to provide these platforms in order to deploy the e-visa system,” Uy said.
The DICT is also looking to work with private companies that have “proven capacity in handling that and integrate them with our platform in the e-visa so that we have a seamless experience,” he said.
According to Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco, visa issuance was found to be the “biggest challenge” for tourists from large countries like China and India.
“The biggest challenge they face is we require visas for them to come to the country, but the capacity of the consular services is very limited,” she said. Frasco earlier said President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has approved the government’s national tourism development plan 2023-2028, which seeks to make the Philippines a “tourism powerhouse.”
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