Philippine DOT partners Grab to boost tourism with digital bookings

The Department of Tourism (DoT) in the Philippines has teamed up with Grab to provide tour guides access to Grab’s digital platform, and to allow users to book a tour guide directly.

The partnership will help the Philippines pilot the GrabTours project in Metro Manila, which will offer tourist transportation from three DoT-accredited accommodation establishments, namely Sheraton Manila Bay, Okada, and Solaire. Their destinations will initially cover two major tourist destinations in Manila: Intramuros and Binondo.

Travellers can engage the services of a tour guide by referring to the tour guide roster which Grab will integrate in its platform (Photo: Philippine Department of Tourism)

Philippine tourism secretary Christina Garcia Frasco remarked: “It is incumbent upon us to introduce innovations and digitalisation to the tourism industry so as to provide increased opportunities for our DoT-accredited stakeholders to also have access to millions of potential tourists already using digital platforms to travel.”

For the duration of the pilot run, tourists who book the service can also book tour guiding services of DoT-accredited tour guides at their end destination by registering with the GrabTours concierge staff at the pilot hotels’ lobby.

Travellers who would like to engage the services of a tour guide will be referred to the tour guide roster which Grab will integrate in its platform. In effect, DoT-accredited tour guides will have the opportunity to directly access Grab’s users now pegged at over a million people in the Philippines.

While the pilot testing date of the GrabTours service is yet to be determined, consultations with tour guide associations and Grab Philippines are ongoing to firm up possible product offerings including offering a “Book a Guide” option on the Grab platform.

Discussions are also being held on collaborating with DoT-accredited tour operators and travel agencies to provide the latter access to digital bookings for tour packages and bookings through Grab.

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