Gov?t unveils online booking system for Underground River

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Last February 7, 2013, the DOT turned over the system to the City Government of Puerto Princesa for the site?s operation and management as provided for by the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn, in his acceptance message, shared how tourism has anchored the city?s sustainable development model. Hagedorn said tourists can expect to have an easier access to Puerto Princesa especially now that an online booking system and more efficient payment modes are in place. Tourist influx to Puerto Princesa surged after the Underground River was declared one of New 7 Wonders of Nature, yielding an increase of 45 percent in arrivals since 2011. The increase in traffic has caused confusion in securing permits from the PPUR office and the city government?s crowd control or restriction of access to the site due to environmental concerns. The automated booking system will help ease tourists before they book their hotels and flights to the city, the government said. It can also be accessed by travel agencies all over the country and even abroad. ?Puerto Princesa City is a perfect example of a local government unit that works hand-in-hand with the national government. We, in the department, are enablers of tourism. The active participation on the ground is what makes things happen, as it is always done on the people?s behalf,? DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said. Earlier in February, the new online system was also presented for comments to the officers of the Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) and the Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA). Prior to this, a series of meetings were made with the tourism stakeholders in Puerto Princesa to begin the public consultation phase of the project.]]>

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