*An online platform to help ensure the safe travel of tourists
To promote the province as a trusted destination by assuring the health safety of tourists amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte under Gov. Matthew Marcos Manotoc is set to launch “Safe Travel Application for You in Ilocos Norte” or STAY IN.
An online platform, STAY IN manned by Ilocos Norte Tourism Office will gather tourism information essential in complying with public health standards and supports efficient contact tracing when needed.
STAY IN boasts an effective data management feature designed to assign users with unique QR Codes and Alphanumeric Codes which will be used to grant entry to the province and record tourist’s actual itinerary.
It allows INTO to monitor the number of employees and guests to ensure that occupants can maintain social distancing requirements and capacity prescribed by local authorities.
Moreover, data through the web-based app will be used to provide services, to issue valid QR code, to provide adequate security against fraud and abuse, and to contact trace, among others.
Further, with the resumption of the province’s airport operations, STAY IN is seen to benefit all tourism stakeholders, particularly tour operators and travel agencies, by pre-determining and fixing itineraries, and ensuring safety through contactless processing.
In an interview, Provincial Tourism Officer Ian B. Raquel stressed on three essential benchmarks for the reopening of the province’s tourism sector, namely: compliance to safety standards through accreditation from the Department of Tourism, the readiness of the health sector by having a capacity for local testing, and comprehensive tourist registration and monitoring that supports efficient contact tracing.
With DOT-accredited local accommodation facilities, a COVID-19 laboratory, and ownership of a local web-based tourism application, Ilocos Norte’s ultimate goal is “to rebuild confidence to travel,” according to Raquel.
Meanwhile, component provinces in Region I are currently aligning all requirements for a seamless travel experience for tourists.
With a strong recovery plan in place, INTO aims to prioritize reviving the existing tourism businesses and stakeholders and from them, target the most ideal number of visitors based on the service capacity of the province.—(Edison Justin B. Deus, PGIN-CMO)