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    Smart upskills tourism champions in Northern Mindanao

    PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) is boosting tourism initiatives of northern Mindanao provinces as restrictions ease and domestic travel starts to pick up.

    Through the eBiznovation program, Smart conducted a social media marketing workshop for the officers of Department of Tourism Region 10 (DOT-10) to equip them with digital skills that will expand their reach and help jumpstart their local economy in the new normal.  
    “PLDT and Smart enable tourism partners through technology and innovation, to help local destinations recover. Ultimately, this will provide more income opportunities for locals who depend on the travel and tourism industry for their livelihood,” shared Judee Caroline Chaves, Smart Mindanao Relations Head. 
    DOT 10 Regional Director Marie Elaine Unchuan said, “We have been partnering with Smart because of our common advocacies in developing communities through tourism. Private sector participation is very important to promote and develop other unique destinations. And Smart plays a key role in enabling communities through technology and social media.”   
    During the workshop, tourism officers from four provinces and seven cities in Northern Mindanao learned to create awesome content from Joie Cruz, Limitless Lab Founder and CEO. They also tried their hand at the popular online graphic design tool, Canva, to produce materials showcasing local destinations.
    Bukidnon Provincial Tourism Officer Butch Anthony Melendez plans to share his newfound skills with his staff and colleagues from other offices in his province. “I have been using a different editing software for some time, but this is my first time using Canva. It is user-friendly and we can easily design brochures that promote the activities of the province,” he said.   
    Smart Digital Communications Manager Eli Mendoza also shared different strategies on how to improve social media engagement and keep up with online trends.   
    Iligan City Senior Operations Tourism Officer Shayma Daison said, “I learned so much about digital marketing. Everybody is online, and social media helps us reach more people not just within the country but also internationally.” 
    Early this year, Smart also teamed up with DOT-10 for its #LimitlessAdventures campaign to encourage local content creators to promote Northern Mindanao destinations and cuisine. These initiatives that tap technology to promote local tourism are tucked under PLDT and Smart’s broader digital tourism program. PLDT and Smart leverage digital technologies to develop and improve the lives and livelihood of communities across the country.
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