Smart deploys Google Stations, digital markers in Intramuros, Rizal Park

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PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications has inked a partnership with the Department of Tourism (DOT), Intramuros Administration (IA), and the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) to roll out free Wi-Fi services in public areas around the Walled City and Rizal Park to boost local tourism.

Photo shows PLDT chief revenue officer and Smart president Alfredo S. Panlilio (left) and DOT secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat. Photo credit: Smart Communications

Smart also mentioned an ongoing joint project with technology partner InnoPub Media in placing QR-based and near field communication (NFC)-based interactive tourism markers in Intramuros for the country-wide Digital Tourism Program.

The program began in 2012 and is now implemented in key areas around the country, spearheaded by Smart Communications and InnoPub Media and backed by collaborations with local government units, as well as public and private tourism organizations.

“We are happy to partner with government to further enhance its ability to deliver quality services for the Filipino people through connectivity, and to contribute to efforts in preserving history and making historical information more accessible to everyone,” said PLDT chief revenue officer and Smart president Alfredo S. Panlilio.

Based on the terms of the agreement, Smart will be deploying strategically placed Google Stations at the Plaza Dialo, Casa Manila, Museo de Intramuros, Plaza Roma, Fort Santiago, and even across Rizal Park. Google Stations are known to provide Internet connectivity access to users by viewing partner brand advertisements.

According to PLDT Enterprise head Juan Victor Hernandez, the partnership with the DOT, IA, and NPDC, is a testament to their company’s commitment in boosting the local tourism industry.

“Connectivity is vital to enhancing the tourist experience. With high quality connectivity, tourists are easily able to share to the world the sights and sounds of our country, keep in touch with their loved ones abroad, and learn more about our historical and heritage sites by downloading information through our interactive digital markers,” said Hernandez.

Some of the components of the program are tourism guid apps for Albay, Baguio, Cebu, Davao, and Sorsogon, which are now available for Android, iOS, and Windows devices. The platforms contain lists of DOT-accredited hotels, local language phrases that travelers can use, and examples of activities that they can do.

To make history interactive, meanwhile, designated markers that contain brief information about specific tourism sites or structures are equipped with a QR code and NFC tag that triggers information download, as well as archival photos just by using a smartphone and data connection.

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