La Union sees jumpstarting tourism thru DOT’s Visita App

The Province of La Union is keen at jumpstarting its tourism once again, after months of lull brought by the pandemic, as the Department of Tourism (DOT) launches its VISITA (Visitor Information and Travel Application) App, in the province, on December 16, 2020 at the Plaza Del Castiel, San Juan, La Union.
DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, La Union Gov. Francisco Emmanuel “Pacoy” R. Ortega III, DOT Regional Dir. Joseph Francisco R. Ortega, and San Juan Vice Mayor Manuel Victor “Mannix” R. Ortega led the launching ceremony, which aimed to introduce to the province’s tourism stakeholders and workers, the mobile app developed to streamline tourism activities in the context of ‘new normal.’
First developed by the City Government of Baguio, the VISITA App is a digital platform used to monitor the anticipated surge of visitors in Baguio as it opened its doors for tourism last September.
Eventually, the software wad adapted by the DOT to be used for visitor monitoring, contact tracing, and other tourist activity regulation in entire Region 1. Through the VISITA app, local tourism offices may keep track of the tourist activities to ensure that safety protocols are followed.
The VISITA App may be used by tourists for hotel bookings, pre-ordering at restaurants, pre-registration for tourist sites, and other tourism activities.
Sec. Romulo-Puyat said she witnessed how tourism has flourished in La Union. “I am a frequent traveler to your province even before I became DOT secretary,” she said, as she expressed her full support in the sustainable efforts to bring back the vigor of tourism in the province. “This is the province where you can really find the one,” the secretary quipped, inspired by the DOT Region 1’s tagline, “Find the one in Region 1.” Gov. Pacoy, meanwhile, said that while tourism stakeholders in La Union were direly affected by the pandemic, the Provincial Government of La Union was prompt to provide aid.
As he bared the PGLU’s programs to help displaced tourism workers, Gov. Pacoy underscored that tourism is integral to the PGLU’s transformative governance initiatives.
At present, La Union is open only to tourists from Region 1 and Baguio City. Through insights generated by the VISITA App, the province may assess its readiness to eventually open tourism to entire Luzon.
During the ceremony, the DOT also awarded financial assistance to the Association of Tour Guides in La Union; Tour Guides Association of San Juan; La Union Surf Club; and the Bangar Loom Weavers Association; and training grants to award-winning local surfers Roger Casugay, Jay-R Esquivel, Daisy Valdez, and Luke Landrigan.
The program was witnessed by tourism officers in Region 1 and Baguio City, and representatives from various tourism organizations in La Union. All the launching participants underwent antigen testing, and yielded negative results, before proceeding at the venue.
Justin Paul D. Marbella / Photos by: Wendell B. Tangalin, PGLUPIO

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