The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCAA) and the Department of Tourism (DOT) have partnered with Smart Communications and InnoPub Media to create the a mobile app called “Kultoura” to boost traveling among millennials in the Philippines.
Launched at the Rizal Park Visitors Center on Monday, June 19, executives from the NCCA, DOT, and Smart took turns explaining the project and the features of the mobile app.
The Kultoura travel guide app features information on heritage sites, historic schools and churches, nature parks, popular attractions, famous landmarks, and other tourist filled places in the Philippines. The application features five main areas in the country: NCR or Metro Manila, Region III or Central Luzon, Mimaropa (Mindoro,, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), Cebu, and Davao.
The travel guide app is a part of the digital tourism program launched by InnoPub Media and Smart in 2012. It was created at first to guide tourists and aid students about the country’s culture and heritage. Now, their main target are millennials in the country.
In an interview with DOT undersecretary Falconi Millar, he said that with the widespread use of smartphones, the project intends to exploit communication tools to spread the message about the beauty the Philippines.
“The target are the millennial tourists. Most millennials nowadays like to search about our culture, history, and heritage. And with this app, we can capture this market,” Millar said.
Millar said the government didn’t shell out a budget for the app because of its partnership with Smart and InnoPub Media.
In 2016, Millar said that there were 56 million domestic tourists in the Philippines and the department is aiming for 66 million tourists in 2017.
He said that the app will help attain the target number of tourists this year, adding that that less visited areas in the country will also be incorporated in the app to heighten tourism in these places.
“This will help boost domestic tourism. This will help create the consciousness of millennials to travel more in the Philippines, to be proud of our culture, to be proud of the beauty of the Philippines,” Millar said.
Max Limpag, a Cebu-based journalist who is also the app developer from InnoPub Media, said they intend to make the app more interactive between the users and the developers to transform it into a crowd-sourcing device where users could send feedback or alert the government on infrastructures that needed to be fixed.
The Kultoura app also features a chatbot for automated travel advice to enable users to take virtual tours and purchase items via a digital marketplace. It is available for free on App Store for iOS or Google Play Store for Android.