MANILA -- The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Tuesday 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.
The booking site, which can be accessed at https://guidetothephilippines.ph, was introduced alongside the new Philippine tourism website philippines.travel.
During the signing of the memorandum of agreement with Guide to the Philippines General Manager Rabbi Vincent Ang, Tourism chief Bernadette Romulo-Puyat highlighted the evolving trends in travel and tourism.
"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," she 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.
"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," he said in an interview.
Accredited tourism establishments interested to join can reach out to the Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP), Uyking 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. (PNA)