City Government of Baguio
22 October 2020 – present
- Management for Productivity, Quality, and Agility
- Digitization & New Technologies
- Perspectives on Productivity, Governance, and Development
Baguio VISITA (Visitor Information and Travel Assistance) is an online portal implemented by the City Government of Baguio aimed at jumpstarting tourism while also monitoring travel movement to ensure safety from COVID-19.
Background and Problem
A significant portion of Baguio City’s revenue comes from tourism, as evidenced by its moniker “the Summer Capital of the Philippines.” The outbreak of COVID-19 was thus a devastating blow to the LGU, affecting not just local business but also the city’s capacity to respond to the healthcare crisis caused by the pandemic.
Solution and Impact
To address the loss in tourism revenues and the negative effects to the tourism industry, the Baguio City Government crafted a recovery and resiliency plan to revive the local tourism economy, refreshed tourism products and services, and rejuvenate travel confidence through strategic innovations by utilizing digital platforms.
VISITA is an online registration system for Baguio tourists and travelers designed to regulate the entry and monitor the mobility of visitors through a ticketing system using a QR-coded Tourist Pass (QTP). It allows tourism to restart in the city while maintaining the city’s health and safety protocols, from the mandated triages up to digital check-ins for contact tracing.
The web application features online registration for auto-regulation and real-time data analytics, QR-coded e-tickets as electronic identification, health data for contact tracing and contactless processes, safe and compliant tourism establishments and services listings for travel confidence, tourism establishments dashboard for empowered marketing, and tourist sites and services directory with a feedback mechanism for an empowered tourist experience.
Visits to the city can be scheduled by filling up an online questionnaire at least one day before arrival. Additional requirements include a health declaration and a COVID-19 test which can be done before or upon arrival. After pre-registration and arrival at Baguio City, tourists pass through triage and are continuously monitored through VISITA.
The VISITA web portal has allowed the Baguio City Government to reopen the city to tourism, even conducting the 2020 Ibagiw Creative Festival from 6 to 29 November 2020. The City Government has also garnered support from the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB).
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) conferred Baguio City with the 2020 Business Friendly Award in recognition of VISITA’s success in addressing the impact of the pandemic to the city’s business community. The platform was also a finalist in the 2020 Digital Governance Awards of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). It was also featured as an example of good practice in promoting creative economy and e-commerce for tourism recovery by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation.
Moving forward, VISITA will serve as the online portal for tourists even after the pandemic, serving as a personal guide and assistant when traveling to Baguio. It has been upgraded to include booking assistance, itinerary planning, payment of regulatory fees, and on-site assistance for events, services, connectivity, and emergencies.
“As with many places around the world, seeing the City devoid of tourists was very hard. Wanting to welcome them back and protect our residents at the same time, we turned to technology for the answer recognizing the efficiencies it could bring.” – Alec Mapalo, Division Head, Baguio City Tourism and Special Events office
Oracle Philippines x Baguio VISITA App (Source: Baguio VISITA website)
Landing Page of the Baguio VISITA webpage. (Source: Baguio VISITA website)
Data on Approved Travels through the Baguio VISITA (Source: City Government of Baguio)
Tourism Establishments Dashboards through the Baguio VISITA (Source: City Government of Baguio)
Consultation conducted by the City Government in the policy formulation (Source: City Government of Baguio)
Publicity Poster of the Ridge & Reef: Baguio City-Region 1 Travel Corridor (Source: City Government of Baguio)
City Government of Baguio. (2020, December 14). Baguio VISITA: Visitor Information and Travel Assistance [Presentation]. Webinar on Innovation and Productivity Initiatives in the Public Sector, Zoom.
City Government of Baguio. (n.d.). What is Baguio VISITA?. City Government of Baguio. https://visita.baguio.gov.ph/about
Manila Bulletin. (2021, August 6). Oracle Cloud powers Baguio City’s VISITA Online Registration System [System Updates]. https://mb.com.ph/2021/08/06/oracle-cloud-powers-baguio-citys-visita-online-registration-system/