Saturday, June 20, 2009 [ sunstar.com.ph ]
VISITORS to the world-renowned Chocolate Hills as well as those who will take the Loboc River cruise in Bohol will no longer have to wait to get back to their hotels to upload pictures or blog about their experience.
Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) is boosting Bohol’s tourism initiatives in the two tourist attractions by providing personal computer units and Internet connectivity.
Now, the tourism centers in the towns of Carmen and Loboc have Internet access.
“Wonderful. We never expected that Smart would donate this kind of electronic equipment. It’s very useful especially in our operations at the Chocolate Hills Complex. We are so very glad and thankful to Smart for its generosity to the municipality of Carmen,” said Mayor Manuel Molina.
Molina received a computer as well as a Smart Bro prepaid plug-it unit from Smart officials, led by Public Affairs Vismin Senior Manager Maria Jane C. Paredes.
“We are very grateful and excited. We believe that this new technology in our tourism complex will enable tourists to have easy access for their Internet needs. We hope that connectivity will attract more tourists to Loboc,” said Mayor Leon Calipusan, who received two computer units as well as provision for one-year free connectivity via Smart Bro.
Smart, through its Engaging Bohol program, is supporting Bohol’s efforts to strengthen its position as one of the top tourist destinations in the country by providing Internet connectivity in the towns of Carmen and Loboc.
Since the Chocolate Hills and the Loboc River cruise are usually part of a day-long itinerary, tourists have been known to approach the tourism centers in these two areas to seek assistance in retrieving their mails, check their flight schedules, download photos from their cameras and save them in USBs or discs to share with fellow-tourists whom they meet on the tour.
Some also want to update their Facebook accounts or get in touch with loved ones.
The tourism office in Carmen is found at the Chocolate Hills Resort.
The attraction includes cone-shaped formations that have been declared the country’s third National Geological Monument and proposed for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage list.
The need for Internet connectivity became very much apparent when the province started campaigning for the inclusion of the Chocolate Hills as one of the “Seven Wonders of the World.”
Busloads of tourists at the site were asked to manually fill out forms, which the tourism office staff collected so they could encode the results.
Now, they could ask tourists to access the site and vote online.
In Loboc, the Tourism Complex now has WiFi so people can connect to the Internet for free.
Loboc is not only known for the cruise, but also for the world-famous Loboc Children’s Choir. (PR)