An interactive marker in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte, contains QR codes and Near Field Communication stickers which, when scanned or tapped via a mobile phone, direct users to a Web site containing more information about the site or structure, including photos and videos. This is part of the Digital Tourism project of wireless services leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) in partnership with InnoPub Media. Similar interactive markers can also be found in select areas in Cebu, Iloilo, Baguio, and Albay. One of these markers is at Punto de Disembarco in Dapitan, built on the site where national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal is believed to have arrived for his four years of exile in the city on board a vessel called SS Cebu on July 17, 1892. That information, along with the other places where Rizal stayed and worked during his exile, are now more widely available on mobile devices. “Apart from enhancing experience of travelers, our Digital Tourism project also contributes to the preservation of Filipino heritage and culture.
Dapitan is rich in history, and through our mobile app and interactive markers, we are able to help create a digital version of its stories available to all for free,” said Smart Public Affairs Group Head Ramon R. Isberto. Also part of the project is the Dapitan Guide (initially available for Android devices with the iOS version still undergoing pre-release review for the app store), a comprehensive resource on where to go and what to do in Dapitan. It lists the attractions in the city that tourists can visit: from the Rizal Shrine that gave the city its name as the Shrine City of the Philippines, to the plaza that was beautified by the national hero, the relief map of Mindanao that he built to instruct pupils, and the amusement park Gloria Fantasyland that is among the country’s biggest. The app also lists places to stay when in Dapitan. It also has a virtual concierge feature that will allow tourists to get in direct contact with the Dapitan City Tourism Office for questions and requests for assistance. The Dapitan Guide is offline-capable. Once installed, users of the app can use it anywhere, even in places without Internet connection.