THE Punto de Disembarco in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte marks the arrival of national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal in 1892 for his four years of exile in the city. It is built on the site where he is believed to have arrived in Dapitan on board a vessel called SS Cebu on July 17, 1892.
That information, along with the other places where Rizal stayed and worked during his exile, is now made more widely available on mobile devices through the groundbreaking Digital Tourism project of wireless services leader Smart Communications, Inc. and new media startup InnoPub Media.
Preserve Filipino heritage, culture
“Apart from enhancing experience of travelers, our Digital Tourism project also contributes to the preservation of Filipino heritage and culture. Dapitan is rich in history, and through our mobile app and interactive markers, we are able to help create a digital version of its stories available to all for free,” said Smart Public Affairs Group Head Ramon R. Isberto.
In Dapitan, Smart and InnoPub worked with the Dapitan City Government to implement Digital Tourism by releasing a free mobile app called Dapitan Guide and installing interactive tourism markers.
“We are very happy and thankful to Smart Communications and InnoPub Media for including Dapitan City, the Shrine City of the Philippine, in this noble undertaking. This will help Dapitan City move to the next level in promotions and marketing. It will also help us improve the experience of our guests,” said Dapitan City Mayor Rosalina Jalosjos.
Dapitan Guide, initially available for Android devices with the iOS version still undergoing pre-release review for the app store, is a comprehensive resource on where to go and what to do in Dapitan. It lists the attractions in the city that tourists can visit: from the Rizal Shrine that gave the city its name as the Shrine City of the Philippines, to the plaza that was beautified by the national hero, the relief map of Mindanao that he built to instruct pupils, the amusement park Gloria Fantasyland that is among the country’s biggest, and the famed Dakak Park Beach Resort.
The app also lists places to stay when in Dapitan. It also has a virtual concierge feature that will allow tourists to get in direct contact with the Dapitan City Tourism Office for questions and requests for assistance.
Dapitan Guide is offline-capable. Once installed, users of the app can use it anywhere, even in places without Internet connection.
Interactive tourism marker
The interactive tourism markers that Smart, InnoPub, and Dapitan City installed on key tourism sites contain a quick response or QR code and near-field communications or NFC tags that, when scanned or tapped, trigger the download of more information about a site or structure.
“Apart from our friends and family, the phone is our most important travel companion. It is our map, camera, messaging device, and tourism guide. With Digital Tourism, we make important tourism and historical information more widely available to tourists through these mobile devices,” said Max Limpag, InnoPub Media co-founder.
Digital Tourism is a nationwide campaign by Smart Communications and InnoPub Media to harness mobile technology in the delivery of tourism, cultural, and historical information. It started in Cebu and has expanded to its key tourism towns as well as other provinces like Iloilo, Baguio, Bohol, and Albay. It was given an Anvil Award of Merit in February 2014.