To promote the province as a trusted destination by assuring the safety of tourists amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte, through the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office (INTO), is set to launch “Safe Travel Application for You in Ilocos Norte” or Stay IN, an online platform that gathers tourism information essential in complying with public health standards and supports efficient contact tracing when needed. Stay IN boasts an effective data management feature designed to assign users with unique QR Codes and Alphanumeric Codes which will be used to grant entry to the province and record tourist’s actual itinerary.
It allows INTO to monitor the number of employees and guests to ensure that occupants can maintain social distancing requirements and capacity prescribed by local authorities. Moreover, data through the web-based app will be used to provide services, to issue valid QR code, to provide adequate security against fraud and abuse, and to contact trace, among others.
Further, with the resumption of the province’s airport operations, Stay IN is seen to benefit all tourism stakeholders, particularly tour operators and travel agencies, by pre-determining and fixing itineraries, and ensuring safety through contactless processing.
In an interview, Provincial Tourism Officer Mr. Ian B. Raquel has stressed on three (3) essential benchmarks for the reopening of the province’s tourism sector, namely: compliance to safety standards through accreditation from the Department of Tourism, readiness of the health sector by having a capacity for local testing, and comprehensive tourist registration and monitoring that supports efficient contact tracing. With DOT-accredited local accommodation facilities, a COVID-19 Laboratory, and ownership of a local web-based tourism application, Ilocos Norte’s ultimate goal is “to rebuild confidence to travel,” according to Mr. Raquel.
Meanwhile, component provinces of Region I are currently aligning all requirements for a seamless travel experience for tourists.